As the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) continues to assess Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, public opinion appears to be on Microsoft’s side: about 75% of public comments are in favor of the merger.
The CMA invited the public to share his thoughts on the merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard as part of its investigation into the still-pending acquisition. The CMA revealed that it received more than 2,100 emails during this phase and that “about three-quarters were broadly in favor of the merger and about a quarter were against it.”
Among the positive responses the CMA received and shared as part of its briefing included views such as “Sony and Nintendo are stronger than Microsoft in console gamesand the merger will help Microsoft compete more closely against them”; and “the merger is a reaction to Sony’s business model for PlayStationwhich has historically meant getting exclusive content or early access to popular cross-platform game franchises like Final Fantasy or Silent Hill.”
On the contrary, some of the negative answers to the merger noted that “Microsoft is already dominant in PC operating systems and this merger is an attempt to gain a similar position in all other games”, and “this would be the biggest merger in gaming history, paving the way for way for a potential chain of future acquisitions from publishers like Take-Two, EA or Ubisoft, thereby increasing market concentration“.
The UK opened the public inquiry in October after completing the first two phases of its investigation into the Microsoft-Activision merger. The CMA plans keep gathering evidence and publish interim conclusions before a final report that will be released in several months.
Meanwhile, the deal remains under scrutiny as the US FTC announced it plans to sue to block the acquisition, calling the deal harmful to competition on “high performance consoles and subscriptions.” To this demand is added the demand of 10 players who are also against the merger.