< /p> Logo of American video game publisher Activision Blizzard.
London – After an in-depth investigation, the British Antimonopoly Authority (CMA) concluded that the US software company Microsoft's plan to take over the computer game maker Activision Blizzard for $69 billion (roughly CZK 1.7 trillion) could distort economic competition in the field of cloud and console games. The deal could weaken the “important rivalry” between Sony's XBox and PlayStation consoles and lead to higher prices, reduced choice and innovation, according to the agency.
The regulatory authority informed about this in a press release today. It will consider responses from affected companies and other stakeholders by April 26 before issuing a final report. Both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard responded by saying they intended to allay the CMA's concerns.
For a similar reason, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to block the transaction. The European Commission also launched an in-depth takeover investigation at the end of last year.
Microsoft announced last January that it intends to buy game developer and publisher of interactive entertainment content Activision for $68.7 billion (about CZK 1.5 trillion). Blizzard. This company is behind the games Call of Duty and Candy Crush, for example. The acquisition is supposed to accelerate the growth of Microsoft's gaming division. Once the transaction is complete, Microsoft would be the third largest gaming company in the world by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony. It is Sony that strongly criticizes the transaction.
“Our job is to ensure that players in Britain are not caught in the crossfire of global deals that could over time harm competition and lead to higher prices, less choice and less innovation,” said Martin Coleman of the CMA. “For now, we have concluded that this may be the case,” he added.
“We are committed to offering effective and easily enforceable solutions to address the CMA's concerns,” Microsoft vice president Rima said in a statement. Alaily. “Our commitment to provide long-term 100 percent equal access to Call of Duty to Sony, Nintendo, Steam and others preserves the benefits of the agreement for players and developers and increases competition in the marketplace,” she added.
“These are preliminary findings , which means that the CMA puts its concerns in writing and both parties have an opportunity to respond,” a spokesperson for Activision Blizzard recalled. “By April, we hope to be able to help the CMA better understand our industry to ensure it can deliver on its stated mandate,” he added.