The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has voiced its concerns over Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, stating that the deal would harm PlayStation and subscription offerings should Microsoft keep Activision Blizzard games off the platform,s.
The CMA also feels it’s possible Microsoft could use Activision Blizzard and its other services to hurt streaming competitors Amazon, Google, and Nvidia.
Bascially, according to the body, the acquisition could cause the “substantial lessening of competition in gaming consoles, multi-game subscription services, and cloud gaming services.”
The CMA is also concerned over game subscriptions as it belives without this deal, Activision Blizzard games may have eventually released on other subscription services.
However, Microsoft says this is not the case, and the body’s “unsupported theories of harm” were not sufficient to justify the CMA calling for a Phase 2 investigation.
According to Microsoft, one of the CMA’s main concerns is over the acquisition’s potential impact on PlayStation. Microsoft says the body should not be concerned in the slightest, as PlayStation has a much larger user base, with or without Activision Blizzard games.
The firm brought up the fact PlayStation has a current install base of 150 million, compared to Xbox’s install base of 63.7 million. Elaborating to GI.biz, Microsoft said that the suggestion that Sony, the current market leader, “could be foreclosed by the third largest provider” as a result of losing access to Call of Duty “is not credible.”
The firm even stated that should every Call of Duty player on PlayStation defect to Xbox, the player base on PlayStation would still be “significantly larger than on Xbox.”
“In short, Sony is not vulnerable to a hypothetical foreclosure strategy,” and the Referral Decision incorrectly relies on ” said Micrsoft, adding that the “self-serving statements” by Sony “significantly exaggerate the importance of Call of Duty to it and neglect to account for Sony’s clear ability to competitively respond.”
Microsoft reiterated ionce again that it intends to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, as pulling from the system would “alienate” the fanbase and “tarnish both the Call of Duty and Xbox brands”.
The CMA’s second phase investigation is set to wrap up in January with a ruling expected by March 1.