Continue the arm wrestling between Microsoftwhich is waiting to formalize the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and antitrust authorities around the world. The giant that owns Xbox last year announced a historic deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, one of the largest and most famous video game makers in the world, for the record amount of $68.7 billion.
The operation would have allowed Microsoft to add some successful titles such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft e Overwatch and to strengthen its position in the gaming market.
Antitrust UK rejects the agreement between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard: that’s why
As we well know (here you will find a complete and in-depth recap on the matter) the acquisition has raised the concerns of the antitrust authorities of several countries. Among the concerned authorities also the CMA British, which today published its final judgment. A judgment not at all in favor of Microsoft: the antitrust has in fact blocked the acquisitionarguing that it could create a monopoly situation in the industry cloud gaming.
For the uninitiated, cloud gaming allows you to play streaming video games without having to physically install the game on a console or PC. Microsoft, through the cloud gaming service Game Passis particularly popular from this point of view.
No monopoly for consoles, only cloud gaming worries
According to the CMA, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard would reduce consumer choice and increase the prices of cloud gaming services. In particular, theAntitrust has highlighted the risk that Microsoft could raise the price of its Game Pass subscription serviceto match the increased value of the offer after adding Activision Blizzard games.
Furthermore, the British antitrust underlined the clear benefits in terms of popularity for Microsoft’s Game Pass, which would thus become more attractive to players, thanks to the presence of Activision Blizzard titles.
In recent months, the CMA had ruled out the danger of a monopoly for the console market, stating that the acquisition would not have compromised competition between the various gaming platforms. A position that had aroused the ire of Sonyowner of PlayStation, which accused Microsoft of a hypothetical boycott of PS games.
Microsoft doesn’t give up
Meanwhile Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft has published this tweetin which he states that Microsoft is not giving up and remains focused on completing the acquisition.
Now Microsoft awaits the opinion of the European Commission, which will arrive in the coming weeks. The acquisition was initially expected to be completed by 2023, but could now be further delayed or, in the worst case, even cancelled.