FTC Seeks to Block Microsoft Corp’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Based on this graphic Microsoft are making a play for a network monopoly. While folk argue about which software they control and exclude, which submarket is dominated by whom etc, the real game is for Gamepass to be the dominant architecture for the future of gaming that all gaming brands (whether hardware or software makers) have to use just as Google has done with search or Amazon has done with online retail or Facebook has done with social media. The objective is to get as many active users on it as possible until it makes no sense for PS+ and NSO to exist in parallel.

That's what this acquisition is really about: positioning and power to engender a Gamepass dominated videogame market.
That is one of the reasons, for sure. The CMA, in its documents, actually highlighted this in great detail.
 
Based on this graphic Microsoft are making a play for a network monopoly. While folk argue about which software they control and exclude, which submarket is dominated by whom etc, the real game is for Gamepass to be the dominant architecture for the future of gaming that all gaming brands (whether hardware or software makers) have to use just as Google has done with search or Amazon has done with online retail or Facebook has done with social media. The objective is to get as many active users on it as possible until it makes no sense for PS+ and NSO to exist in parallel and mobile players prefer it as well (playing from your hardware at home on the go?)

That's what this acquisition is really about: positioning and power to engender a Gamepass dominated videogame market.
I honestly don't think this makes any sense. If you look at the lead Netflix had with like 220 million subscribers, all you see is more streaming services starting up. PS and Nintendo can also have streaming services if they want.

In fact MS starting GP is pushing the others to adapt and giving PS gamers better deals on PS Extra. That's the "increasing competition" part. Sony was on record saying it was impossible. Then due to increased competition, changed their mind within a year and restructured PS+. Consumers on PS were the winners. PS was on record saying backwards compatibility is worthless, and a year later you have PS Premium.
 
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Microsoft shouldn’t be limited to doing only what Sony can also do.
Sony’s actions should not be the measure of whether a course of action is anti competitive.
No one is asking MS to follow in Sony's footsteps. They can carve their own way (as they did with Gamepass), and that's fine. The irony is that Phil Spencer criticized Sony for not following Microsoft's footsteps and not doing what MS does.

"They [Sony] don’t ship their games day and date on PC, they do not put their games into their subscription when they launch their games." -- Phil Spencer

But MS doesn't have to do what Sony does. But acquiring 70% more studios than your competitors is tilting the shift of balance and that is anti-competitive acquisition.
 

Interfectum

Member
Microsoft already said what their plan is. They want to dominate the full stack of game development. From stem to stern they will own it all and little companies like Nintendo and Sony can use their tools for their own little playground.

The missing key to 'owning' gaming is mobile. They can't dominate a market where they are missing out on 80% of it. Which is why they will literally give COD to Sony if they have to. COD is not the goal.
 

Gavon West

Member
Based on this graphic Microsoft are making a play for a network monopoly. While folk argue about which software they control and exclude, which submarket is dominated by whom etc, the real game is for Gamepass to be the dominant architecture for the future of gaming that all gaming brands (whether hardware or software makers) have to use just as Google has done with search or Amazon has done with online retail or Facebook has done with social media. The objective is to get as many active users on it as possible until it makes no sense for PS+ and NSO to exist in parallel and mobile players prefer it as well (playing from your hardware at home on the go?)

That's what this acquisition is really about: positioning and power to engender a Gamepass dominated videogame market.
You mean like Sony did with the traditional hardware sales? We gonna begrudge Microsoft for working to change the landscape from traditional hardware sales? They can't beat Sony at their own game. So their using their strengths to make that happen. Where's the issue?
 

Gavon West

Member
No one is asking MS to follow in Sony's footsteps. They can carve their own way (as they did with Gamepass), and that's fine. The irony is that Phil Spencer criticized Sony for not following Microsoft's footsteps and not doing what MS does.



But MS doesn't have to do what Sony does. But acquiring 70% more studios than your competitors is tilting the shift of balance and that is anti-competitive acquisition.
It's not anti competitive to purchase studios. How many studios they have doesn't guarantee success. How many IPs they have certainly doesn't as this is a highly competitive industry. New games are being released all the time. New studios are cropping up all the time.
 

Dane

Member
You mean like Sony did with the traditional hardware sales? We gonna begrudge Microsoft for working to change the landscape from traditional hardware sales? They can't beat Sony at their own game. So their using their strengths to make that happen. Where's the issue?
Because it is okay when their favorite plastic box does it, Sony was even alienating Xbox from JRPGS and fighting games last generation, if they bought Square and others no one would complain about the next games being entirely exclusive, only when it comes to Microsoft it has to be multiplatform. If Sony had the money to buy ABK most people would assume it would be exclusive to PS in much shorter time than what MS is offering.
 

zzill3

Banned
No one is asking MS to follow in Sony's footsteps. They can carve their own way (as they did with Gamepass), and that's fine. The irony is that Phil Spencer criticized Sony for not following Microsoft's footsteps and not doing what MS does.



But MS doesn't have to do what Sony does. But acquiring 70% more studios than your competitors is tilting the shift of balance and that is anti-competitive acquisition.

Sony don’t have any god given right to be at the top of the gaming industry, do they? So what if Microsoft buy enough studios to shift the balance? That’s just capitalism in action.
 

jufonuk

not tag worthy
Yeah it’s the double standards of one company buys up studios and that’s fine but the other(s) are going to follow suite now people panic. (Sony is panicking now)
Seems like we don’t need to rely on hardware as much now as the most powerful consoles are roughly the same in specs so buying up devs is the next arms race.

Oh well it is what it is. Let’s see how the merger plays out.
 
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Marvel14

Member
I honestly don't think this makes any sense. If you look at the lead Netflix had with like 220 million subscribers, all you see is more streaming services starting up. PS and Nintendo can also have streaming services if they want.

In fact MS starting GP is pushing the others to adapt and giving PS gamers better deals on PS Extra. That's the "increasing competition" part. Sony was on record saying it was impossible. Then due to increased competition, changed their mind within a year and restructured PS+. Consumers on PS were the winners. PS was on record saying backwards compatibility is worthless, and a year later you have PS Premium.
Its a good point and that's the part of the strategy that we can't see...the question is: if MS acquires enough users of 3rd party content would it have such a cost and price advantage in running the network that it can compel Nintendo and PS and mobile in the long run to all use their network? Similar to how Amazon captured many online sellers by requiring them to sell on Amazon...

Sure multipe streaming services have cropped up, many backed by exclusive IP that give them an important differentiator, but how many of them will survive into the medium term once the dust settles? How many will be forced to consolidate and merge with others as quality levels, content production and streaming costs potentially increase?

MS has much higher skills and know-how on building and running operating systems and networks than either Sony or Nintendo.
 
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Sony don’t have any god given right to be at the top of the gaming industry, do they? So what if Microsoft buy enough studios to shift the balance? That’s just capitalism in action.
So what if Sony complains and regulators block the MS/ABK acquisition? That's just regulation in action.

You're on board with Sony's protest and FTC and CMA shutting down this and future acquisitions by MS, too, I presume?
 

DenchDeckard

Gold Member
Sure. I guess because sony has been shown they can actually make High-Quality AAA games in a timely fashion.

Well, to some that maybe debatable. They definitely have had a formula of releasing competent games in the last 10 years that's for sure and they are triple A with warts and all but yeah, OK. I don't think that gives a company the right to own any company. Their games do review well, if that means anything to you. I don't agree that they are " better GAMES" but that's my opinion and many others. I think their PlayStation output, outside of returnal and gran turismo 7 has just been good so far this gen.

Microsoft have released decent games, just not enough of them.

Nintendo are the actual goats. So I guess they should own everyone? Yeah, I'm OK with that. Just bring PC versions lol.
 
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Sure multipe streaming services have cropped up, many backed by exclusive IP that give them an important differentiator, but how many of them will survive into the medium term once the dust settles? How many will be forced to consolidate and merge with others as quality levels, content production and streaming costs potentially increase?
But how many killer IP does MS have? Halo is weakened. Gears is weakened. They don't have that much really. I don't think they have anything compared to Nintendo in terms of IP. Sony is clearly quite strong as well.

I just genuinely think MS is not knocking anyone out of the console business.
 
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Well, to some that maybe debatable. They definitely have had a formula of releasing competent games in the last 10 years that's for sure and they are triple A with warts and all but yeah, OK. I don't think that gives a company the right to own any company. Their games do review well, if that means anything to you. I don't agree that they are " better GAMES" but that's my opinion and many others. I think their PlayStation output, outside of returnal and gran turismo 7 has just been good so far this gen.

Microsoft have released decent games, just not enough of them.

Nintendo are the actual goats. So I guess they should own everyone? Yeah, I'm OK with that. Just bring PC versions lol.
You were the one proposing the idea of :
"if sony bought anyone = is deserved"

I am just giving you one possible "argument" in favor of that statement.

If one publisher is "deserved" to MS.....that would be Bethesda for example.

But that line of thinking is flawed to begin with.
 

zzill3

Banned
So what if Sony complains and regulators block the MS/ABK acquisition? That's just regulation in action.

You're on board with Sony's protest and FTC and CMA shutting down this and future acquisitions by MS, too, I presume?

Sony can protest all they like, as long as the regulators make their decisions based on what is the best for gamers and the industry and not what is best for the current market leader (who, again, has no god given right to be at the top of the market) then that’s fine.

If the regulators do consider what is best for the industry, they aren’t going to stop the deal.
 
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Marvel14

Member
But how many killer IP does MS have? Halo is weakened. Gears is weakened. They don't have that much really. I don't think they have anything compared to Nintendo in terms of IP. Sony is clearly quite strong as well.

I just genuinely think MS is not knocking anyone out of the console business.
They don't need to knock them out...they just need to own the fabric on which the market operates and then they can dominate and make lots of profit just from running the operations of the marketplace.
 
Sony can protest all they like, as long as the regulators make their decisions based on what is the best for gamers and the industry and not what is best for the current market leader (who, again, has no god given right to be at the top of the market) then that’s fine.
The reasons don't matter, just as they didn't when it came to acquisition. You gotta be supporting the regulators then the same way you do MS and MS's acquisition. Because that's just regulation in action in the face of capitalism.
If the regulators do consider what is best for the industry, they aren’t going to stop the deal.
Wow, so you're saying this deal is best for the industry? Corporate consolidation is best for industry? And if they block it, it must be because they were in bed with Sony?
 

Dane

Member
Sony is concerned they won’t have equal content, how is it not the same?
ARM has 95% of the mobile phone hardware marketshare, that's a monopoly, yet it has been owned by Softbank since 2016, so why they chimed over Nvidia? Because Nvidia is an asshole company who's even open about that, many partners get the most shit relationship such as EVGA who called it quit rather than switching AMD because Nvidia is vindictive and would blacklist them, so they are waiting to see if the company changes their pricing in the next generations. They screwed OG Xbox over the chip pricing, then the PS3, then Apple. It is the company with the most burned bridges you can think of.
 

zzill3

Banned
The reasons don't matter, just as they didn't when it came to acquisition. You gotta be supporting the regulators then the same way you do MS and MS's acquisition. Because that's just regulation in action in the face of capitalism.

The reasons do matter - if the regulators intention is to prevent other companies from increasing their market share at the expense of the current market leader, that’s not a good thing.
I would be against the acquisition if there were negative effects to the industry, but there aren’t, so I’m in favour of it.

Wow, so you're saying this deal is best for the industry? Corporate consolidation is best for industry? And if they block it, it must be because they were in bed with Sony?

There’s a reason that only Sony are complaining about it and everyone else doesn’t care or wants it to go through, from union bodies representing developers and testers, to activision shareholders, to other game development studios and publishers.
Why do you think that is?
 
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Loxus

Member
Bruh. Just stop. Equating ARM to Acti-Blizz is an act of ignorance and/or disingenuity.
You are missing the point.
COD being controlled by the competitor is the big issue.
It's the biggest FPS on PlayStation.

Like I said, Sony is concerned they won’t have equal content in the same way Microsoft is concerned they won’t have equal access to technology if Nvidia had acquired Arm Ltd.
 
You are missing the point.
COD being controlled by the competitor is the big issue.
It's the biggest FPS on PlayStation.

Like I said, Sony is concerned they won’t have equal content in the same way Microsoft is concerned they won’t have equal access to technology if Nvidia had acquired Arm Ltd.
You are not just missing the point, you are missing the entire paragraph.
 

Loxus

Member
ARM has 95% of the mobile phone hardware marketshare, that's a monopoly, yet it has been owned by Softbank since 2016, so why they chimed over Nvidia? Because Nvidia is an asshole company who's even open about that, many partners get the most shit relationship such as EVGA who called it quit rather than switching AMD because Nvidia is vindictive and would blacklist them, so they are waiting to see if the company changes their pricing in the next generations. They screwed OG Xbox over the chip pricing, then the PS3, then Apple. It is the company with the most burned bridges you can think of.
This is about the competitor controlling content of one of the biggest games on your platform.
How hard is that to understand?
 
The reasons do matter - if the regulators intention is to prevent other companies from increasing their market share at the expense of the current market leader, that’s not a good thing.
I would be against the acquisition if there were negative effects to the industry, but there aren’t, so I’m in favour of it.
Question: Since you support corporate consolidation, do you also want/support Sony's hypothetical acquisition of Capcom, WB, and CDPR?
There’s a reason that only Sony are complaining about it and everyone else doesn’t care or wants it to go through, from union bodies representing developers and testers, to activision shareholders, to other game development studios and publishers.
Why do you think that is?
Google has also opposed the acquisition. Sony isn't the only one. Activision shareholders just want the extra $20 per share. That's why they are supporting it, why else lol.
 
It's not anti competitive to purchase studios. How many studios they have doesn't guarantee success. How many IPs they have certainly doesn't as this is a highly competitive industry. New games are being released all the time. New studios are cropping up all the time.
Who told you it's not anti-competitive? It is absolutely anti-competitive if you're buying multiplatform studios and reducing the number of games from other competitor platforms. That's exactly why 3 big regulatory bodies (FTC, CMA, EU) have all been going against this acquisition.
 

Marvel14

Member
So you actually believe the FTC is right in suing and trying to stop the merger?

Sony is second in revenue. Tencent is first! Are they monopolies, too?

Honestly? Without the facts and analysis I don't know. But there is definitely enough initial evidence to justify an FTC investigation to assess it.

There are a few things that make this pertinent:

1. MS controlling access to properties previously available to its competitors without MS involvement

2. The size of the acquisition and how it changes market share within the market.

3.MS focus on potentially developing a network monopoly called gamepass and how a mass expansion of MS userbase facilitated by the acquisition, could support this.

4. The size of the firm doing the acquiring relative to its competition.


Unfortunately MS ideologues can't point to comparable justifications about earlier acquisitions by Sony or Nintendo. Hasn't stopped them deluging this thread with their tries though!
 
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Pelta88

Member
I read an article today which in essence states that time is Microsoft's Achilles heel in this process. Not an FTC complaint or argument.

Time.
 

Dane

Member
This is about the competitor controlling content of one of the biggest games on your platform.
How hard is that to understand?
A game that doesn't represent represent half of the sales? What's the good year for a COD? 10% of the sales at best? And you're getting 10 year transition process rather than a straight moving.
 
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laynelane

Member
We're not the people he is supposed to be convincing, however. He is just pouring gasoline on the console war dronedom fire.

Yup, that was my first comment in this thread.

Edit: Got my threads mixed up. It was the thread about Sony gaining market share by taking it from MS.
 
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sainraja

Member
You realize Tencent and Sony could both be accused of trying to create a monopoly as their both in much better positions, revenue wise, to be considered "monopolies" by your definition. ABK still leaves Microsoft in 3rd place by revenue.

Why do people keep thinking this is a monopoly? Fuck what Microsoft COULD do. It isn't happening.
People are not thinking it is a monopoly. It has the potential to become one. They are likely just trying to identify if a move like this could change the dynamic so drastically, allowing MS to monopolize the market. The person you've quoted said MS has the "influence" and "capital" to actually create a monopoly, not that it is one, or will become one.
 
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