EU Launches Antitrust Probe Into Microsoft’s Activision Deal

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The deal may impact competition in the markets. 

Assessing the Acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft 

The European Commission announced today that it opened a probe into the business proposal. The Commission fears that the deal may reduce competition in the gaming industry. It has until March 23, 2023, to decide. 

Microsoft may prevent access to Activision Blizzard’s console and its video games. This is especially true for its highly successful games, like Call of Duty. 

However, Microsoft has repeatedly declared that it will keep COD on PS consoles. Xbox’s Phil Spencer reassured consumers that Call of Duty will continue to be part of Playstation “as long as there’s a PS to ship to.”

He also said that Microsoft’s intention is to continue shipping COD on Playstation. It’s similar to what it did with Minecraft ever since it owned the game. 

The company kept Minecraft available on various platforms. Thus, it could do the same for Call of Duty. 

Players have invested time into their console ecosystems. The most significant change that will come is that they can enjoy more games through Game Pass. 

Impact on Video Game Subscription Services

The Commission’s press release mentions that it will probe the deal’s impact on video game subscription services, such as Game Pass. 

It will also scrutinize if the acquisition would encourage users to buy only Windows PCs if Microsoft would combine games from Activision Blizzard and Microsoft’s platform in distributing games through cloud game streaming. 

The issues from the Commission are the same as the concerns of the UK government, which asked the public for their opinion on the acquisition. Multiple US senators and the US Justice Department also questioned the deal. 

Activision has several popular games that fit into the Windows maker’s library of titles that users can play on various devices. 

The future of video games is like a Hollywood studio that tries to build well-known franchises. It means that the future is about collecting famous games that everyone can play on various devices. 

The gaming company has famous titles, including Candy Crush and Call of Duty. It also has over 5,000 game developers. 

Microsoft has shifted its focus in recent years. Instead of focusing on it Xbox console, it’s now building a gaming environment where games can be played wherever and however consumers want matter a lot. Microsoft’s cloud gaming would provide the power of the company’s vision of the future. 

Currently, the company offers a $10-month video game subscription service similar to Netflix’s subscription style. This is not the same as the traditional model that Sony and Nintendo are following. 

By seizing a new portfolio of studios, Microsoft will guarantee that millions of Activision’s players will be under its umbrella. 

Microsoft has no robust mobile gaming offers. But Activision has. Its gem is the mobile game maker King which records $1 billion in profit last year. Activision will make Xbox Game Pass more attractive to players. 

Despite the Commission’s concerns and investigation, Microsoft feels good about the progress of the deal.

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Author: Jane Danes

Jane has a lifelong passion for writing. As a blogger, she loves writing breaking technology news and top headlines about gadgets, content marketing and online entrepreneurship and all things about social media. She also has a slight addiction to pizza and coffee.

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