UK competition watchdog clears Microsoft's Activision Blizzard merger of threatening console competition

UK competition watchdog clears Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard merger of threatening console competition

The United Kingdom is lowering its opposition to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) updated its conclusions and concluded that the combination will not materially diminish competition in the console market. Despite the fact that the data remains the same, the watchdog now concludes that Microsoft’s ownership of properties such as Call of Duty will “not significantly damage” Sony’s ability to compete with PlayStation systems. According to the CMA, Microsoft may “degrade” the PlayStation’s attractiveness, but Sony’s platform has a robust enough portfolio that the harm would be limited.

The Authority also changed its previous belief that Microsoft would gain from excluding Call of Duty’s PlayStation audience. According to the CMA, more current Microsoft research reveals that making the game series Xbox-only or delivering exclusive privileges might result in significant losses in “any feasible scenario.” In other words, not enough gamers would transfer from PlayStation to Xbox for that approach to work.