The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is expected to begin a second-phase investigation into Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard following the Xbox maker’s decision not to supply evidence that would allay the regulator’s concerns, and one company that seems pretty happy about it is Sony, having publicly stated that it “welcomes the announcement.”
“By giving Microsoft control of Activision games like Call of Duty, this deal would have major negative implications for gamers and the future of the gaming industry,” Sony explained in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz. “We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA’s focus on protecting gamers.”
From a GamesIndustry.biz report:
Microsoft was given five business days to supply evidence that would allay these concerns, but the Financial Times reports it has opted not to do so.
Sources familiar with the situation told the FT that Microsoft believed there were no obvious commitments it could make that the CMA would be likely to accept.
As such, an in-depth investigation is expected to start this week.
The FT’s sources also expect a similar situation with regulators in the European Union.
Both Activison and Xbox have been in pre-notification talks with regulators in Brussels since January, with Microsoft expected to officially file its case in the coming weeks.
People familiar with the process expect regulators to carry out a more scrutinous investigation due to its size and potential impact.
Microsoft has responded to Sony’s comment regarding Call of Duty, saying that it “makes zero business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation given its market leading console position.”
“It’s a big deal, a difficult deal,” sources say. “It needs an extensive investigation.”