New Zealand could be the next territory to block Activision Blizzard deal

Robert Collins

New Zealand Commerce Commission Custom

Microsoft will meet with the United States Federal Trade Commission in a courtroom starting tomorrow to iron out the fate of the former’s endeavor to acquire Activison Blizzard. Even as that fight gets under way there is news that the proposed $68 billion merger might soon have another detractor in the New Zealand Commerce Commission.

As reported by Game Rant, the commission filed its preliminary report yesterday, including its “statement of issues” in which it lined out several concerns regarding the deal. It echoed the CMA’s stance on how the deal could affect the emerging cloud gaming market.

At this stage, the focus of our investigation is whether the Proposed Acquisition is likely to substantially lessen competition due to vertical effects in the distribution of video games for cloud gaming services.

We are concerned that these effects may arise as a result of the merged entity either partially or fully foreclosing its rivals in cloud gaming, such as Sony or NVIDIA, from accessing certain Activision content, and in particular the game Call of Duty (CoD), to the detriment of competition in cloud gaming.

Video Thumbnail: Call of Duty Season 4 World Premiere Trailer | Summer Game Fest 2023
Video Thumbnail: Call of Duty Season 4 World Premiere Trailer | Summer Game Fest 2023

The document also mentioned the NZ Commerce Commission’s concerns regarding Microsoft’s incentives to keep Activision titles (particularly Call of Duty) exclusive to Xbox should it gain control of them.

The U.S. FTC meetings will take place over the course of five days beginning on June 22. Microsoft’s top executives are expected to be present.

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