In a speech, the EU justified the decision to approve Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. According to the regulatory authority, it was primarily the comparatively small market share of the Xbox Series X/S in the EU that made the difference here.
While the British competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA for short), decided to stop the planned takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft to blockthe European Commission approved the deal worth almost 69 billion US dollars.
In a speech by EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, which followed the decision published by the European Commission, the European regulator addressed the reasons that led to its decision in favor of the acquisition.
As it is said, among other things, the massive advantage that the PlayStation 5 and Sony Interactive Entertainment enjoy in terms of market share in the EU was the deciding factor.
If you exclude other platforms like the switch, the PS5 has a market share of 80 percent according to the EU. This contrasts with the Xbox Series X/S market share of 20 percent.
The justification of the EU in the wording
“A key finding was that the combined market share of Microsoft and Activision in Europe was generally low,” Vestager said. “It’s only when you look at specific segments like shooter games that you get past 20 percent. When it comes to consoles, Sony sells about four times as many PlayStations as Microsoft sells Xbox consoles.”
Vestager added: “In this context, we did not think that the merger would pose a vertical problem. I’ve been told that Call of Duty is a very popular shooter franchise. But we realized that Microsoft probably wouldn’t cut itself in the foot by halting the sale of Call of Duty games to the much larger PlayStation gaming community.”
“Our colleagues at the CMA agreed with our view and ultimately came to the same conclusion.”
More news on the topic:
It is still unclear whether and in what form the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft in the USA will take place. At the end of last year, the Federal Trade Commission pointed out that the competition authorities in the US with a lawsuit want to prevent.
Since then, however, it has been quite quiet on this topic. Official statements or updates from the FTC are still a long time coming.
More news about PS5, Xbox Series X/S.
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