The UK Consumer Authority does not support Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard. At least not with the Call of Duty series in its catalog.
Microsoft’s purchase of Activision, until recently considered inevitable by some, has a growing number of opponents in Europe and the United States. The situation is no different in the United Kingdom, since while the agreement had its supporters, the The Consumer Protection Authority (CMA) concluded that completing the acquisition of Activision would harm competition in the console market and in the cloud gaming sector.
The agency released the results of an investigation, which took place over several months, slightly ahead of schedule. It had previously been said that the report would not be available until March 1, but now is the date when Microsoft and other related parties have time to respond to the CMA report.
Call of Duty is the main reason Brits are worried about the Activision acquisition. Source: Activision.
As in many other discussions of the most expensive purchase in the history of the gaming market, Great attention has been paid to the call of duty series. Not only that, the CMA points to the possibility that future Xbox Series installments of exclusive titles could be potentially damaging to the console market. Not surprising, given that in the CMA questionnaire 24% of respondents said they would stop playing PlayStation if Cod disappeared from Sony consoles.
The agency believes that games like the CoD series and World of Warcraft could prove crucial for the growth of the cloud gaming segment. Especially since Microsoft is in a strong starting position here anyway, and combined with its PC dominance and large console market share, this has raised considerable concern for the CMA.
However, the agency does not completely sink the case. Yes, the blocking of the purchase is envisaged, but beyond that, the CMA points to two other solutions. The first would be an agreement between the parties (i.e. Microsoft and Sony, and probably also Nintendo and Valve), as proposed by the Redmond giant.
The second way would be to deposit part of the shares, which in a separate document specifies how separating from Activision “the party related to Obligation“ (and, in one option, World of Warcraft). In other words, the company would sell the rights to the brand before the acquisition by Microsoft.
Note that, according to the agency, the first action would not be enough on its own. The CMA asserts that the circumstances favorable to this option “are not present in this case”, because the rapid evolution of the gaming market (in particular the cloud gaming segment) makes the agency consider such a solution as risky . So any licensing deal would have to go hand-in-hand with structural changes at Activision Blizzard.
The agency also remains open to other ideas and opinions from interested parties. Although it’s probably not the genre that Bobby Kotick articulated; The CEO of Activision Blizzard was far from praising the attitude of British officials..
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Brent Dubin, known as the Gaming Giant among Globe Live Media staff, is the chief Gaming Reporter for Globe Live Media. Having attended all the major events of Gaming around the World, he is sure to give you exactly the update related to gaming World you are looking for.