UK Regulator Calls for Removal of Call of Duty from Activision Blizzard’s Microsoft Acquisition Portfolio: What Does This Mean for Gamers
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has raised concerns about the inclusion of the popular Call of Duty franchise in Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In a recent statement, the regulator suggested that the deal could lead to reduced competition and higher prices for consumers.
The acquisition, which was announced in September 2021, would see Microsoft acquire Activision Blizzard for $39 billion. Activision Blizzard is one of the largest game developers in the world and is the owner of several popular franchises, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush.
The Concerns Raised by the UK’s CMA
The CMA has expressed concern that the inclusion of Call of Duty in the Microsoft acquisition could reduce competition in the video game market. According to the regulator, Microsoft already has a strong presence in the market with its Xbox gaming platform and the acquisition of Activision Blizzard would give it an even greater market share.
The CMA has also suggested that the deal could lead to higher prices for consumers, as Microsoft would have the ability to use its market power to set prices. This could have a particularly significant impact on UK consumers, who are already paying more for video games than those in other countries.
What Does This Mean for Gamers?
If the CMA’s concerns are validated and Call of Duty is removed from the acquisition portfolio, it could mean that the franchise will continue to be developed and sold by Activision Blizzard. This could lead to increased competition in the market, which could result in lower prices for consumers and more choice for gamers.
On the other hand, if the deal goes ahead as planned and Call of Duty is included, it could mean that the franchise becomes exclusive to Microsoft’s Xbox platform. This could limit the options available to gamers, as they would no longer be able to play Call of Duty on other platforms such as PlayStation or PC.
What Happens Next?
The CMA’s statement is only a preliminary assessment and the regulator is inviting comments and submissions from interested parties. This will be followed by a more detailed investigation, which could take several months to complete.
If the CMA decides to block the acquisition or impose conditions, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will have the opportunity to appeal the decision. The final outcome of the investigation will have a significant impact on the future of the video game industry, as well as the future of the Call of Duty franchise.
Will the Future of Call of Duty Be Affected by the Microsoft Acquisition?
The CMA’s preliminary assessment has raised concerns about the inclusion of Call of Duty in Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The outcome of the investigation will have a significant impact on the future of the popular franchise and the video game industry as a whole. Gamers and industry stakeholders will be closely monitoring the situation as it unfolds.
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