Microsoft, the tech giant, has agreed to make Call of Duty available for the Playstation console. This is part of its efforts to convince regulators that it’s worth $69bn ($52bn), to takeover the publisher of the video game Activision.
Phil Spencer, head of Xbox (the console owned by Microsoft), tweeted that “the companies have signed a binding contract to keep Call of Duty for PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard.” We look forward to the future when players around the world will have more choices to play their favorite games.
Brad Smith, Vice Chairman and President of Microsoft, posted the following: “From day one of this acquisition, Microsoft has been committed to addressing concerns of regulators and platform and game developers as well as consumers.”
The Competition and Markets Authority of Britain blocked the deal on April, citing fears that it would inhibit competition and increase prices for gamers.
The CMA’s concerns do not focus on the console market. “We found that the Merger wouldn’t substantially reduce competition in console games in the UK,” it said in April. But the news of a deal may still have an impact, and cheer up any fans who were worried about a worse service with Sony’s Playstation compared to Microsoft’s Xbox.
The CMA has found that the merger will make Microsoft stronger, and reduce competition substantially.
Microsoft’s next move in the battle with the CMA will be to file a complaint at the Competition Appeal Tribunal. On Monday, a case management hearing will be held.
The decision to block this takeover has sparked an outpouring of criticism. This includes claims that Britain is “closed to business” with global tech companies.
Activision was the subject of this blockbuster deal and said: “We’ll reassess growth plans for the UK.” Global innovators will be aware that, despite its rhetoric, the UK has clearly closed doors for business.
Microsoft’s Mr Smith said that the decision “discourages technology innovation and investment in United Kingdom.”
The European Commission refused to block this deal.
The Federal Trade Commission in the US initially tried to stop this purchase, but was ultimately overruled by the court .
The CMA refused to comment on the Playstation Agreement.
Microsoft sent a “detailed and complex submission” stating that material changes had occurred, requiring a six-week extension.
Microsoft has said that it is ready to listen to any proposal to restructure this transaction to address our concerns in the Final Report.