The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently announced that over the course of a two-week window, it received a total of 2,100 public emails regarding Microsoft’s planned acquisitiion of Activision Blizzard, of which around 75% were positive.
The regulator laid out a high-level view of the public’s reasoning behind their responses and clarified that a small number of responses did not specify a clear view. It also confirms that responses containing abusive language, were blank, unintelligible, non-english, or from non-UK consumers were not factored into its findings.
Here’s a sample of some of the responses in favour of the merger:
– Sony and Nintendo are stronger than Microsoft in console gaming, and the Merger will help Microsoft to compete more closely against them.
– The Merger will not harm rival consoles because Microsoft has made public and private commitments to keep Activision content, including Call of Duty, non-exclusive. The availability of Minecraft on rival consoles shows that Microsoft’s commercial strategy is not to make games exclusive.
– It is unlikely that Microsoft would make Call of Duty exclusive due to its multiplayer nature. Making Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox would only create a gap in the market that could be filled by a rival cross-platform shooter game.
– Call of Duty has competition from a number of other games including Battlefield (Electronic Arts), Grand Theft Auto (Take Two) and FIFA (Electronic Arts).
Meanwhile, here are a few that are against the merger:
– Microsoft is already dominant in PC operating systems, and this Merger is an attempt to gain a similar position in gaming.
– Microsoft has the resources to create an offering that competes with PlayStation exclusives without acquiring Activision.
– The Merger would lead to consolidation and would set a harmful precedent in the gaming industry of acquiring large publishers rather than encouraging organic growth.
– This would be the largest merger in gaming history, paving the way for a potential string of future acquisitions of publishers such as Take Two, EA, Ubisoft, thereby increasing concentration in the market.
It’s important to note, of course, that this invitation took place prior to the announcement that Microsoft would enter a 10-year commitment with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty to its platforms should its planned acquisition go through. It’s unclear whether this would have had any material impact on the CMA’s findings, although if our recent poll is anything to go by, it seems our community is largely lukewarm on the whole prospect.
Are you for or against Microsoft’s planned merger with Activision Blizzard? Will you be playing Call of Duty if it makes its way to Nintendo’s platforms? Let us know!
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