Following the announcement by the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) that it would block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a cloud-based gaming platform, has spoken out against the decision.
Boosteroid, a cloud-based gaming platform, has criticised the decision by the CMA to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The CMA announced today that it would block Microsoft Xbox from acquiring Activision Blizzard “to protect innovation and choice in cloud gaming.”
The UK Competition and Markets Authority opened an investigation into the deal in September 2022 and provisionally concluded in February 2023 that the acquisition could foreclose competition in cloud gaming.
Microsoft submitted proposals to address the concerns raised by the CMA. Still, it was later decided that these proposals would instead regulate the behaviour of the companies involved in the 10-year deal. However, they would act against their commercial claims. The CMA, therefore, found the attempted mitigation insufficient.
Boosteroid is one of the cloud gaming platforms with which Microsoft has a 10-year contract. It has expressed its support for Microsoft on Twitter. The company said it disagreed with the CMA’s decision, both on its own behalf and on behalf of its users. It also added that Boosteroid’s position was “in line with that of Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith.” The company also expressed its hope for a swift resolution of the issue. Boosteroid announced its agreement with Microsoft back in mid-March. It is a 10-year deal to bring Xbox games to the cloud gaming platform. Boosteroid recently surpassed 4 million users, making it the world’s largest independent cloud gaming provider. The company says the deal would mean 150 million additional players for Call of Duty. That is if the Activision Blizzard acquisition goes through.
The CMA also considered whether adding Activision Blizzard games to Xbox Game Pass would offset the damage it would do to competition.
According to the UK authority, this would not be the case. It predicted that Microsoft would increase the price of Xbox Game Pass to compensate for any additional content added. Martin Coleman, chairman of the independent expert panel, said, “Microsoft already enjoys a powerful position and head start over other competitors in cloud gaming, and this deal would strengthen that advantage giving it the ability to undermine new and innovative competitors.”
Whether the CMA will consider Boosteroid’s position in the case is yet to be seen. The agency’s decision will also likely impact how other regulators view the deal.
Boosteroid team and our users disagree with the CMA's decision against Microsoft's purchase of Activision. Our position on this issue is in line with that of Microsoft's president, Brad Smith.
We hope for a quick resolution to this question.https://t.co/94vGdKjySe
— Boosteroid (@Boosteroid_main) April 26, 2023