Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard could harm gamers, says UK regulator

The Competitions and Markets Authority has provisionally found that the acquisiton of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft could reduce competition in console and cloud gaming. The UK regulator says in its provisional report that it believes Microsoft would find it commercially benefical to make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox -- or available on Xbox in an enhanced way -- which could result in 'higher prices, reduced range, lower quality, worst service and/or reduced innovation'.

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sparky7747d ago

Looks like they didn't block the deal so MS can still get through. Will be interesting to see what MS accepts to get it through.

VenomUK47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

British regulator the CMA has made clear that it doesn't believe it is a good idea for Microsoft to have Call of Duty. It has made some suggestions (via VGC) to allow the deal to go through that include: Selling off Call of Duty or selling off Activision. There is now time for Microsoft to respond with remedies to the CMA's concerns. "The CMA found that 24% of Call of Duty PlayStation gamers said they would leave Sony's console if Xbox made the franchise exclusive to its platforms. One of the key arguments from Xbox is that the deal would allow it to put Activision Blizzard games on Game Pass, offering consumers more choice on how to pay for its games. Yet the CMA feels that as this would harm PlayStation users and competition, the downsides outweigh the benefits."

Exactly this. By keeping Call of Duty as a paid game on PlayStation but making it 'free' on Game Pass you diminish the value of the PlayStation version and make the Xbox version much more attractive.

The CMA also found that Microsoft has dominance with PC OS (Windows) and global cloud computing and this deal could make it stronger and reduce competition for future cloud gaming users.

computeSci47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

Your argumented is very one sided and lopsided. For those whom do not have Game Pass ... they are left with what option?

Second of all, 10 years of parity would mean Microsoft would also have to make it free and available day one on Playstation Now.

Extermin8or3_47d ago

Guarantee its in the small print that games pass day 1 is the exception and that is why Sony said to the eu regulator that MS were not offering parity.

Sonic188147d ago


He's just stating facts tbh 🤷🏻

Outside_ofthe_Box47d ago

Good news. Really hope this doesn't go through. Would mean other big pubs like EA, Take2, etc would be safe as well from being acquired.

rlow147d ago (Edited 47d ago )

It’s called competition. Sony pays to keeps games off MS wether permanent or timed. MS offered a ten year contract and even offered to allow it to launch day/date with parity on Sony’s service.

Not sure what more you could offer to Sony? Seems to me they are protecting Sony from having to compete. How ironic is it that Jim Ryan is from the UK. I’m sure he had alot of buddies in the right places.

The part that confuses me the most is their statement on the cloud? How would that stifle competition? There is already big competition in that space?

rlow147d ago

They already offered exactly what you just said about parity to Sony and they rejected it. Day and date, look it up.

neutralgamer199247d ago

Everybody could see that besides Xbox fanboys this deal in no way benefit us the gamers in absolutely no way it does

In my opinion the best time for us as gamers was during PS3 and Xbox 360 era and that's when we had healthy competition. Ms already have more studios and resources than PlayStation and Nintendo

Eonjay47d ago


Those aren't 'his' arguments...

Chevalier47d ago


"It’s called competition. Sony pays to keeps games off MS wether permanent or timed. MS offered a ten year contract and even offered to allow it to launch day/date with parity on Sony’s service."

Oh really? So aren't Xbox worse because they're paying to keep games off Playstation/Nintendo AND previously Multiplatform games too?

Contraband? Warhammer Darktides? Ark 2? Stalker 2? Ravenlok? Ereban: Shadow Legacy?
The Last Case of Benedict Fox? Cocoon? All games paid to be on Gamepass and timed or exclusives by Xbox. Where are your complaints? How are these not the same? Hypocrite much?

thesoftware73047d ago (Edited 47d ago )

"The CMA did state that Microsoft's offer of a long-term agreement with Sony, Nintendo and Steam would be considered as part of its remedies process".

However, it will consider behavioural remedies (such as the proposed licensing agreement with the likes of Sony).

You missed some parts, MS will concede to this I bet.

wiz719147d ago

This is nonsense I keep saying , Microsoft WOULD NOT REMOVE COD from PlayStation. Why would they do that and lose hundreds of millions ?? That’s the complete opposite of what they want , they want the same bank that Activision is racking in now. They know they can’t recoup the $60B with just COD being on Xbox. Microsoft never removed any games that were 3rd party and still support them , etc with Mojang and Bethesda. Only games that are exclusive so far are new IPS , with I’m quite sure Microsoft is funding. I don’t see Bungie new IP being multi platform , or anything Insomniac releasing in the future. It’s only a problem with Microsoft doing it. Activision has more IPs then COD but that’s the only thing people are focused on.

darthv7247d ago

'could harm'... lets see if it actually does first by letting it go through as planned. I got no horse in this race, I just want to see how this plays out.

dumahim47d ago

"This is nonsense I keep saying , Microsoft WOULD NOT REMOVE COD from PlayStation. Why would they do that and lose hundreds of millions ??"

You keep saying it? Why would they do exactly that with other franchises they've acquired recently? In fact, why make anything exclusive at all if they're passing up hundreds of millions from making stuff exclusive?

1Victor47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

@ venom you forgot to add this from the article that makes it clear what Microsoft intentions are.

"When we say equal, we mean equal. 10 years of parity. On content. On pricing. On features. On quality. On playability."
For those that still think this is a good thing for the industry think about that statement after 10 years there’s going to be a no PlayStation CoD high prices for game pass and pc lower quality micro transactions to open micro transactions options.
Don’t listen to what they say what he what they do. Remember the “all current Bethesda promises “

wesnytsfs47d ago

That is an awful take. Sony can buy the rights to Call of Duty and give it to its subscribers too. Microsoft even openly said they would allow it. Its ridiculous Sony is whining about it being on gamepass.

wesnytsfs47d ago

@computesci, Microsoft is paying for it to be on Game Pass day one Sony can do the same iff they are willing to Pony up and buy it for its subscribers.

shinoff218346d ago


Why do you guys keep saying Sony buys games to keep off Xbox, has Xbox never had 3rd party exclusives timed or forever.

Blue dragon, lost odyssey, tales of vesperia(in the west) ninja Gaiden, mass effect, dead rising, lost planet, the list goes on. Why do you huys not acknowledge this. Nintendo does it to.

46d ago
computeSci46d ago


"Exactly this. By keeping Call of Duty as a paid game on PlayStation but making it 'free' on Game Pass you diminish the value of the PlayStation version and make the Xbox version much more attractive."

Then what is it then? Not everybody has or is interested in Game Pass. Those folks still have to buy their games. Parity is parity. If it's on day one on Game Pass, then expect the same for Playstation now. Microsoft made that clear.

FinalFantasyFanatic46d ago


That is a laughable argument at best:
"Microsoft WOULD NOT REMOVE COD from PlayStation. Why would they do that and lose hundreds of millions ?? That’s the complete opposite of what they want..."

They don't care if they lose millions, that's not even pocket change for Microsoft. The goal is to squeeze out their competition so they can charge/do as they like, Once Sony/Nintendo are out of the picture, moreso Sony who is a closer competitor. Then they can then charge as they like for games or gamepass, they have a history of using these tactics (look at windows).

anubusgold46d ago

@computeSci They are left to pay 70 dollars and that is what sony wants so this whole argument is stupid.

OptimusDK46d ago

The CMA is not in the business of keeping SONY on top. Why did SONY not put Spiderman on XBOX, why do they keep money hatting Final Fantasy, or paying to keep games of Game pass.

This deal will make SONY compete for real - they are using their superiority in the gaming market to push these deals that is not giving payers what they could get in a more fee market.I get it SONY is producing great exclusives, but they need a competitive second that is competing at the right level.

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derek47d ago

@sparky77, "so you're telling me there's a chance", gif.

PureBlood47d ago

Lmao "What was all that one in a million talk?"

darkrider47d ago

I think you didn't understand....

wiz719147d ago

@outsidethebox those companies are up for sale that’s the difference. Those companies you mentioned already stated that wouldn’t sale for any amount of money.

Lifexline47d ago

Yeah they didn’t outright condemn it seems like they worded it so there can still be negotiations. It’s crazy people clamor at this news like it’s new it’s annoying they keep spewing the same shit over and over all three agencies. They should release statements when they make their official decision.

PureBlood47d ago

...That's what you took from this?!

SeTTriP46d ago

Selling of call of duty is the only way this goes through I'm afraid

Abracadabra46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

Guess all those 3rd party Sony exclusives don't harm gamers...

shinoff218346d ago


What about ms third party exclusives. Wanna talk about those?

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zsquaresoff47d ago

Fantastic decision. Microsoft cannot be trusted with their own franchises let alone successful ones like Activision/Blizzard. Hope the other bodies block this deal too.

Hofstaderman47d ago

Right now Bobby must be foaming at the mouth. Oh to be a fly on his office wall right now.

DrShoe46d ago

All Bobby can think about is the yacht he won't be able to buy this year....

RGB47d ago

EU has already said as much.
Microsoft can only go to court against FTC because "America".

UK/EU, the deal is dead in the water.

Broncob47d ago

Agreed MS have lost it since the 360 days.... PS rules

ActualEngineer46d ago

Very mature. Are you 12 years old?

Othegamer547d ago

no one blocked anything you just made that up in your head?

porkChop46d ago

"Hope the other bodies block this deal too"

The CMA aren't blocking the deal. They just want some concessions.

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Hofstaderman47d ago

I’m thinking of an appropriate analogy…here goes:

Microsoft and Activision are Bill and Frank in HBOs last of us episode 3. The UK regulator is cancer.


Hofstaderman47d ago

Whoa so many disagrees without responses, did the CMA do you guys a dirty?

CS747d ago

No its the episode that was dirty. It was a pointless filler episode that was there simply to cash in on woke points.

Remembering that episode made me give you a downvote.

PureBlood47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

I gave you a down vote, because I haven't bloody seen it yet!

FinalFantasyFanatic46d ago

It was a good episode, but not what I wanted because I didn't want the show about the main characters to focus so heavily on side characters, otherwise I have no qualms about the episode.

Bathyj47d ago

We're disagreeing because we're pretty sure he had MS not cancer.

Ironic that MS could kill something so full of life and hope.

Hofstaderman47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

Hahaha hang on you referring to multiple sclerosis or Microsoft? If it’s multiple sclerosis my bad I forwarded through most of that episode.

dumahim47d ago

Craig or Neil said they never specified but probably would have been MS or ALS.

curtain_swoosh47d ago

the Episode was actually quite good. and Bill was gay in the vame tooz so im nut sure jow it appealed to "woke" people, when it was just a expansion on their characters.

but yeh.
pretty stupid analogy.

Hofstaderman47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

It’s like I’ve been saying the EU regulatory body does not play around. They called out loot boxes and the EU is a massive region. Their decision holds massive sway. UK may not be part of the EU but the sentiments are essentially the same.

Extermin8or3_47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

They are completely different bodies (although they cooperate) the British regulator called out loot boxes and even had it discussed in Parliament before the eu did though I might add) although that is a different regulator...