The authority (shortened to its well-known acronym: CMA) is deeply investigating the potential impact on the games industry of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
As part of the second phase of the CMA’s investigation, an independent panel has been appointed to review and assess the deal. “The CMA has referred the anticipated acquisition by Microsoft Corporation of Activision Blizzard, Inc. for an in-depth investigation, on the basis that, on the information currently available to it, it is or may be the case that this Merger may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom,” the authority told VGC, and the European Union will likely undertake a similarly in-depth analysis, the Financial Times reports, as it is (according to an anonymous source who spoke to the publication) “a large, difficult deal and will require extensive scrutiny”.
Sony, meanwhile, has taken the news positively. (No wonder: we have already written that PlayStation, in particular, is opposed to the deal, while Meta, the company behind Oculus, WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram and Facebook, for example, has given its blessing…): “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. We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA’s focus on protecting gamers,” Sony told Gamesindustry.
Microsoft has also responded to the matter, with a spokesperson for the Redmond-based company telling VGC that “it makes zero business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation given its market-leading console position.” The PlayStation 4 is estimated to have sold twice as much as the Xbox One (we reported on it earlier), but the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series duo are severely affected by the parts shortage. The former has also seen a €50 price increase…