The Microsoft Acquisition of Activision Blizzard is the talk of the town in the gaming industry for quite a while now. Google and NVIDIA joined forces and made statements about the acquisition. Currently, they are the latest major tech stakeholders to voice concerns about the planned merger.
The pair also joins Sony in their corner. But, Microsoft has already assured Sony that it would not lose access to the Call of Duty franchise. Losing access to the Call of Duty franchise is the only part of the acquisition Sony cares about.
Bloomberg also reported that both companies reached out to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They want to argue how it would harm competition within the games industry. Activision Blizzard is the publisher of the best-selling video game franchise Call of Duty. They also published Candy Crush and World of Warcraft.
Additionally, Bloomberg reported that Google and Nvidia provided information supporting FTC’s claim. The claim states that Microsoft’s acquisition could give the company an unfair advantage in mobile and cloud markets. Even more so alongside its subscription-based fields like Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus.
It is awkward to say that the complaint comes from Google, which owns a failed cloud gaming subscription service. The service, Google Stadia, will go offline a few days from now. Google failed all on its own, given that this deal has not occurred yet.
NVIDIA wants to compete with Xbox Cloud Gaming. They want to do it through GeForce Now, which seems to be the main force behind their concern. But, they are not completely opposed to the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard acquisition.
FTC Intends To Block Acquisition
Back in December 2022, the FTC announced its intent to block Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
With Activision’s content, Microsoft would have the ability and increased incentive to withhold or degrade Activision’s content in ways that substantially lessen competition – including competition on product quality, price, and innovation. This loss of competition would likely result in significant harm to consumers… at a pivotal time for the industry– A Statement from the FTC’s filed complaint.
Holly Vedova, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition also had something to say. Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals.
We seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets.-Holly Vedova, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition
Microsoft fired back with its statement provided to NME on January 13 via their spokesperson. “We are prepared to address and have been proactively addressing issues raised by regulators and competitors to ensure that the deal closes with confidence. We want people to have more access to games, not less.”
The company has repeatedly argued that its acquisition would not harm competition. Xbox head Phil Spencer has also accused the acquisition’s biggest opponent. They accused Sony of “trying to protect its dominance on the console” and attempting to grow “by making Xbox smaller.”
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