The CEO of Activision Blizzard King (who inexplicably still has the job, knowing his past…) says that Sony is just trying to prevent Microsoft from buying the publisher.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, the CMA, is also slowly leaning towards accepting Microsoft’s $68.7 billion deal (and recently, its Japanese counterpart approved it!). Still, despite this, Bobby Kotick is slowly getting fed up with Sony’s continued criticism of the agreement. PCGamer reported on Kotick’s internal email, titled “March update on the Microsoft deal.”
“Our proposed merger will help us compete in the increasingly competitive marketplace that includes rapidly growing foreign, powerful companies that enjoy protection in their home markets and access to strong talent pools. The partnership with Microsoft will enable us to compete more effectively against these market-leading competitors. You may have seen statements from Sony, including an argument that if this deal goes through, Microsoft could release deliberately ‘buggy’ versions of our games on PlayStation. We all know our passionate players would be the first to hold Microsoft accountable for keeping its content and quality parity promises. And, all of us who work so hard to deliver the best games in our industry care too deeply about our players ever to launch sub-par versions of our games. Sony has even admitted that they aren’t concerned about a Call of Duty agreement—they would like to prevent our merger from happening. This is disappointing behavior from a partner for almost thirty years, but we will not allow Sony’s behavior to affect our long-term relationship. PlayStation players know we will continue to deliver the best games possible on Sony platforms as we have since the launch of PlayStation,” Kotick wrote.
In Germany, however, an investigation has been launched into Microsoft. (Given that the US Federal Trade Commission, the FTC, has filed an antitrust suit against them, it is not surprising.) The Bundeskartellamt wants to investigate Microsoft’s market power in the technology and gaming industry. If it plays a significant role in the outcome of the investigation, it may initiate special regulations to prevent anti-competitive practices by Redmond.
Andreas Mundt, Bundeskartellamt’s president, wrote in a statement: “With Windows and its Office products Microsoft has had a long-standing and powerful position concerning operating systems and office software… In addition, Microsoft is also active in other areas, including gaming with its Xbox, career networks with its service LinkedIn or internet searching with its search engine Bing.”
Last year, the Bundeskartellamt saw its special market-affecting moves as being used against Google, Meta, and Amazon, and Amazon attempted to appeal. If Microsoft ends up on the list, it will be enough for the German body to take action against anti-competitive behavior. And a Microsoft spokesperson said in response that the company is “aware of [its] increased responsibility to promote a healthy competitive environment and wishes to engage constructively with the Bundeskartellamt.”
No comment on Kotick’s statement, and one can understand the Bundeskartellamt’s move.
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