Microsoft is Not Allowed to Take Over Games Company From British Watchdog
The takeover of games company Activision Blizzard by Microsoft may not go ahead from the British regulator CMA. He thinks that Microsoft is getting too much power in the market for cloud games.
According to the watchdog, Microsoft already has between 60 and 70 percent of this market in the United Kingdom. So if the Activision Blizzard games also come out exclusively for this, consumers will have too little choice left.
Activision Blizzard is known for games like Call of Duty, Overwatch and World of Warcraft. The CMA thinks Activision will also bring such titles to cloud services if the company is not acquired. According to the regulator, cloud gaming services ensure consumers do not have to buy expensive gaming computers. But, especially now that the market for games via the cloud is expected to grow strongly, it is not good to give one party too much power, according to the British market watchdog.
Microsoft had proposed to save the deal, which would cost the software company $ 69 billion. For example, the Windows maker wanted to agree to offer Activision Blizzard titles on other cloud platforms for at least ten years. But according to the CMA, Microsoft did not consider platforms that offer subscriptions that allow multiple games to be played. Companies that want to offer games on computers that do not run on Windows, such as Apple computers and Linux systems, would also be forgotten.
Previously, it appeared that the CMA had dropped its main objections to the takeover. However, the watchdog stated in March that Microsoft would not gain too much power in the game console market. The company already has a strong position there with the Xbox. However, because only a few parties are active there and many players only have one game console, Microsoft would still have enough incentive to make games for competing game computers such as Sony’s PlayStation.
Microsoft has said it will appeal the CMA’s decision. “This decision rejects pragmatic solutions to objections and is bad for technology innovation and investment in the UK,” said President Brad Smith.