Microsoft is running full-page ads in UK papers promoting its Activision Blizzard merger plans
Microsoft is running full-page ads in UK newspapers promoting its plans to team up with Activision Blizzard.
As noted by The Verge reporter Tom Warren, the ad featured below appeared in both the Financial Times and the Daily Mail this week.
It includes Microsoft’s claim that if the $69 billion deal goes through, Xbox will be able to offer Call of Duty to more than 150 million additional players.
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This claim refers to Microsoft’s commitment to bring the blockbuster series to the Nintendo Switch’s nearly 125 million installed base and 25 million GeForce Now users.
Last month, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had provisionally found that the Microsoft Activision deal could reduce competition and “result in higher prices, less choice or less innovation” for gamers .
He suggested that the easiest way to ensure that there would not be a significant lessening of competition would be to block the deal or implement a partial sale of Activision Blizzard that would see parts of the business such as Call of Duty be sold and removed from the equation. .
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However, the CMA said it would also consider behavioral remedies, such as Microsoft’s commitment to make Call of Duty available on other platforms after the merger, although it sees these as less favorable than structural ones which rarely require monitoring and enforcement once implemented.
The CMA has raised concerns that Microsoft could choose to apply a range of tactics to stifle competition if the deal is approved. These include keeping games or content from rival Sony and degrading the quality of Activision titles on PlayStation.
In a response to those findings published Wednesday, Sony argued that behavioral remedies would be insufficient to address the regulator’s concerns because there are “a myriad of ways that Microsoft can prohibit or degrade access [which] it would be extremely difficult to monitor the police as well.”
One of the ways Microsoft could choose to sidestep its obligations would be to release buggy Call of Duty games for the PlayStation, he claimed.
Microsoft recently said it has offered Sony a 10-year, legally enforceable contract to make every new Call of Duty game available on PlayStation the same day it comes to Xbox – with full content and feature parity .
In its response to the CMA’s findings, Microsoft confirmed it has also offered Sony the option to put future Call of Duty games on its PlayStation Plus subscription service on day one, although its rival claimed the offer could depend from unsustainable licensing costs, which will force it to raise prices.
Microsoft also sought to dismiss suggestions it could raise Xbox Game Pass prices after adding popular Activision Blizzard content to its subscription services after the merger.
The company has also said it is willing to pay a third-party agency to oversee its compliance with any agreed-upon behavioral settlement.