The U.K. Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has published the responses of 9 companies it reached out to regarding Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, as reported by Windows Central.
Of the 9 companies in question, Microsoft and Activision were among them. Of the other 7, six of them expressed approval of the deal. Care to take a guess which one didn’t?
In its response Sony reiterates its position that “Call of Duty is an important input for competing in consoles.” Sony goes on to repeat claims that “Microsoft would have the incentive to withhold access to Call of Duty,” in which it cites “Microsoft’s behavior following past acquisitions.” This in spite of the fact that the latter has struck multiple deals this week alone to bring CoD to other platforms with the likes of cloud gaming platforms Boosteroid and Ubitus.
This is in contrast to what another (much smaller) third party, 4J Studios, had to say in its response.
We do not see the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard as anything other than a natural evolution of the industry and it does not give us any cause for concern for our own future opportunities.
Another respondent, known anonymously as “participant F,” expressed support for the Microsoft/Activision merger by stating,
We honestly found the arguments against this acquisition to be slightly exaggerated and out of proportion. We are worried that actual real competition and more innovative consumer friendly initiatives, could be potentially hindered by blocking this, by potential market leaders/competitors, who might not be ready or might believe in a different strategy, or just not compelled to change their status quo on the market.
The CMA is currently conducting the second phase of its investigation into the merger. In its provisional conclusion last month the CMA determined that the merger could harm competition. It has until April 26th to make its final conclusion on the deal.