Posted on: May 15, 2023 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

Today the European Commission announced that it has cleared Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

He advertisement It comes after a lengthy investigation that lasted several months, and its findings are pretty interesting, especially considering that it found that the competition wouldn’t be particularly hurt even if they didn’t get Activision Blizzard’s games.

The commission found that Microsoft could not harm competing consoles and rival subscription services, but on the other hand, it could harm rival cloud streaming services.

  • Microsoft would have no incentive to refuse to distribute Activision’s games to Sony, which is the leading console distributor games worldwide, including in the European Economic Area (“EEA”), where there are four Sony PlayStation consoles for every Microsoft Xbox console purchased by gamers. In fact, Microsoft would have strong incentives to continue distributing Activision’s games through a device as popular as Sony’s PlayStation.
  • Even if Microsoft decided to remove Activision games from PlayStation, this would not significantly harm competition in the console market.. Even if Obligations it is played primarily on console, is less popular in the EEA than in other regions of the world, and is less popular in the EEA within its genre compared to other markets. Therefore, even without being able to offer this specific game, Sony could take advantage of its size, extensive catalog of games, and position in the market to defend itself against any attempt to undermine its competitive position.
  • Even without this transaction, Activision would not have made your games available for multiple game subscription services as this would cannibalize individual game sales. Therefore, the situation for third-party providers of multi-game subscription services would not change after Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision.
  • The acquisition would be harming competition in the distribution of PC and console games via cloud game streaming services, an innovative market segment that could transform the way many gamers play video games. Despite its potential, cloud gaming streaming is very limited today. The Commission found that the popularity of Activision’s games could promote its growth. Instead, if Microsoft did Activision’s games are exclusive to its own cloud game streaming service, ultimate game passand withheld them from rival cloud game streaming providers, it would be reduce competition in it game distribution via cloud game streaming.
  • If Microsoft made Activision games exclusive to its own cloud game streaming service, Microsoft could also strengthen the Windows position in the PC operating system market. This could be the case, should Microsoft hinder or degrade Activision game streaming on PCs running non-Windows operating systems.

To remedy the possibility of harm to rival gaming services, the following remedies have been negotiated for a period of ten years.

  • TO free license for consumers in the EEA that would allow them to transmit, through any cloud game streaming service of your choice, all Current and future Activision Blizzard games for PC and consoles for which they are licensed.
  • a corresponding free license for cloud game streaming service providers to allow EEA gamers to stream any Activision Blizzard PC and console game.

These commitments from Microsoft not only fully address the concerns of the European Commission, but are said to “represent a significant improvement for cloud game streaming compared to the current situation” as it will boost the development of the technology in the cloud in Europe.

We also received a statement from Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president in charge of competition policy.

“Video games attract billions of users around the world. In such a dynamic and fast-growing industry, it is crucial to protect competition and innovation. Our decision represents an important step in this direction, bringing popular video games to Activision to many more devices.” and consumers than before thanks to cloud game streaming. The commitments offered by Microsoft will enable streaming of such games on any cloud game streaming service for the first time, enhancing competition and growth opportunities.”

This does not mean that the acquisition can now go ahead, as major hurdles remain, but for now, the UK CMA is isolated in its ruling against the deal, with the US FTC matching its opposition, but having to go through legal process. to actually be able to block it.

On the other hand, several national antitrust authorities have already approved the agreement. We’ll have to wait and see how things progress, as Microsoft has pledged to appeal against the CMA’s decision and with ongoing lawsuits in the US.

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