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VGC: UK competition watchdog says it could expand Xbox Activision merger inquiry over competition concerns

Elios83

Member
https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/microsoft-activision-deal-uk-watchdog-probe-151752876.html

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that Microsoft had five days to propose remedies, making it the first global antitrust regulator to sound the alarm over the transaction.

The watchdog is concerned that if the deal is completed, it could substantially lessen competition in gaming consoles, multi-game subscription and cloud gaming services. The CMA also warned that the acquisition could harm rivals by refusing them access to Activision Blizzard games or providing access on worse terms.

Sorcha O’Carroll, senior director of mergers at the CMA, said: “Following our phase one investigation, we are concerned that Microsoft could use its control over popular games like Call Of Duty and World Of Warcraft post-merger to harm rivals, including recent and future rivals in multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming.

“If our current concerns are not addressed, we plan to explore this deal in an in-depth phase two investigation to reach a decision that works in the interests of UK gamers and businesses.”

A phase two investigation can last for more than seven months and raises the prospect that it could be blocked completely.

The deal is facing a turning point, especially if other European regulators will follow suit (really likely given their past history with Microsoft.
The part about "remedies" is interesting, it seems like Microsoft will be forced to agree to concede things if they want this to go through.
 
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Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
No one knows. But I bet people would lose their minds if Apple bought Playstation then also Capcom, Ubisoft and EA.
It sure would be interesting if that happened, it would likely change gaming, Apple would probably end the PlayStation brand and Sony game studios would become Apple game studios and there would be an iteration of apple TV which plays there games.

Microsoft buying actiblizz would not have the same impact as that though, it's more leveling the playing field, maybe putting Xbox a little ahead.
 

quest

Not Banned from OT
But people were talking about Microsoft being able to do that without owning the IP
Only if the IP owner agrees to that. They are also hostage to any price that IP owners want. They also need to wait out any current deals that could be years. Its fighting the war on Sony’s terms where the biggest market share gets the best bargains. Its a waste of money to over pay for usage of an IP see the 100 million dollars for tomb raider. That doesn’t include gamepass rights so what 200 million or nearly 1 Insomniac.
 

DaGwaphics

Member
Opinions and conclusions driven by documents from both sides that the public don’t see. But yeah, arm chair analysts on GAF REALLY know whats going on.

Well, of course I have no idea how this process works, not even in my own country, let alone the UK. That's never stopped me before, so I figure I might as well way in. If I'm going to spend time arm chair ceoing, I might as well do some arm chair lawyering too. :messenger_tears_of_joy:

You've got to pickup just enough from videos posted on YT about this to be dangerous but not so much that you actually know what you are talking about. That's the trick.

At any rate, I'd be shocked if the deal doesn't happen. So shocked I'll change my avatar to a singed or shocked Elmer for a year.
 
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PaintTinJr

Member
From reading the Reuters article it seems like our authorities in the UK fully understand the problem at investigation stage 1 (without the panel of experts) and a phase 2 is pretty much guaranteed, with the wording regarding the threat to new competitors trying to join the subscription market.

My hunch having seen how things typically go with regulation in the UK and EU combined, I think this deal won't pass in either, unless the legal concessions made by MSFT make the acquisition far less useful for them, and it might even be a more professional reaction to how badly our UK regulator messed up with the original ARM sale deal - prior to Nvidia's attempt - which in hindsight they probably feel they dropped the ball.

Like Nvidia, if the UK (with EU probably echoing our regulator) dig in and reach phase 2 I anticipate MSFT withdrawing from the deal - as according to Reuters it needs to pass approval in the UK/EU.
 
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Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/microsoft-activision-deal-uk-watchdog-probe-151752876.html











The deal is facing a turning point, especially if other European regulators will follow suit (really likely given their past history with Microsoft.
The part about "remedies" is interesting, it seems like Microsoft will be forced to agree to concede things if they want this to go through.

The deal will go through because a lot of what is said is false.
PlayStation is a lot more then just COD, they have a lot of valuble I.p, will they be less successful then if they COD? Yes, but that's competition, that's business.

Also, If the zenimax deal went through I don't see why this shouldn't, yes actiblizz is a lot bigger, but ms could just buy a couple more zenimax sized pubs instead and get a similar effect.

Also Sony could discount COD on PlayStation, maybe include free MP + a few free months ps extra with it.
 
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Elios83

Member
The deal will go through because a lot of what is said is false.
PlayStation is a lot more then just COD, they have a lot of valuble I.p, will they be less successful then if they COD? Yes, but that's competition, that's business.
A lot of what is said is totally true and regulators probably know a bit better than some fans on message boards.

Even idiots totally understand Microsoft's long term plan here.
Using the money coming from other markets where they already have a monopolistic position to buy a dominant position in an other one.
Once they buy all these IPs and they make them exclusive to Gamepass, coupled with their ability to take whatever losses are needed to offer those games day one on a really cheap subscription service to get marketshare, they'll execute on their monopolistic plan in the subscription service market.

I also think the deal will somehow pass but it seems that because of UK and European regulators Microsoft will need to make concessions like allowing Activision to operate almost independently under them. We'll see what happens.
 
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Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
A lot of what is said is totally true
Like what? Some examples please.
Even idiots totally understand Microsoft's long term plan here.
Using the money coming from other markets where they already have a monopolistic position to buy a dominant position in an other one.
Once they buy all these IPs and they make it exclusive to Gamepass
Microsoft have agreed with Sony that cod wil be on ps for several years, and even if it stops coming to ps one day, there is no evidence that suggests Sony will fail, they still have a very strong and growing first party, most of the ps fanfare is for the first party games anyway, the ps4 sold like 115 million, what does cod sell on ps4? Like 15million... Oh no poor Sony can't compete with only 100million install base 🤦‍♀️
 
Lol 😂 this is the last hope for some of you huh?! Just accept it now cause they’re not going to go to court with Microsoft over this no matter what they’re saying their arguments are all stupid and Microsoft will win and they’ll lose money which their government won’t want them to waste on video game litigation at this time. Also Microsoft coming to court and putting all of Sony’s businesses practice on front street is not something Sony would you want either. They most they can do is delay it but they won’t stop it.
 

Elios83

Member
Like what? Some examples please.

Microsoft have agreed with Sony that cod wil be on ps for several years, and even if it stops coming to ps one day, there is no evidence that suggests Sony will fail, they still have a very strong and growing first party, most of the ps fanfare is for the first party games anyway, the ps4 sold like 115 million, what does cod sell on ps4? Like 15million... Oh no poor Sony can't compete with only 100million install base 🤦‍♀️

Like this?
Sorcha O’Carroll, senior director of mergers at the CMA, said: “Following our phase one investigation, we are concerned that Microsoft could use its control over popular games like Call Of Duty and World Of Warcraft post-merger to harm rivals, including recent and future rivals in multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming.

Please let's not hide behind a finger. This is not about Sony's installed base.
You totally know and realize that this is about Microsoft using the money coming from their dominant position in other markets to try to buy the dominant player position in gaming subscription services.
Other companies won't be able to compete if publishers are being scooped at the rate of 70 billions deals and one company is abusing of the profits coming from other makets to take whatever losses are needed to reach the position they want.

The fact that some Microsoft fans actually cherish this and they want this :messenger_tears_of_joy: has unfortunately no impact on regulators.
We'll see what happens, certainly this deal right now doesn't seem like it will go through without some concessions.
 

Kilau

Member
Like what? Some examples please.

Microsoft have agreed with Sony that cod wil be on ps for several years, and even if it stops coming to ps one day, there is no evidence that suggests Sony will fail, they still have a very strong and growing first party, most of the ps fanfare is for the first party games anyway, the ps4 sold like 115 million, what does cod sell on ps4? Like 15million... Oh no poor Sony can't compete with only 100million install base 🤦‍♀️
You know this isn’t just about Sony. It’s about Apple, Google and Amazon also. Talking about emerging competitors, these publisher acquisitions were always about cutting those players off at the knees.
 

Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
You know this isn’t just about Sony. It’s about Apple, Google and Amazon also. Talking about emerging competitors, these publisher acquisitions were always about cutting those players off at the knees.
What about Sony, they just spent $3 billion for destiny? And have been aquiring several other studios. Making many smaller acquisitions is the same thing, it has the same effect.

Like this?

Sorcha O’Carroll, senior director of mergers at the CMA, said: “Following our phase one investigation, we are concerned that Microsoft could use its control over popular games like Call Of Duty and World Of Warcraft post-merger to harm rivals, including recent and future rivals in multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming.

So they are concerned about Microsoft competing and doing business. What a complete joke. Why are they concerned? what's wrong with Xbox doing better? Makes no sense.
Business's "harm rivals" all the time it's one of the defining characteristics of business and competition.
You thing Sony did the crash bandicoot ads to help Nintendo? You think they did the borrowing games video to help Xbox? No they did it so people will buy there product instead there's, which would "harm" there competitors.
 

Elios83

Member
What about Sony, they just spent $3 billion for destiny? And have been aquiring several other studios. Making many smaller acquisitions is the same thing, it has the same effect.

So they are concerned about Microsoft competing and doing business. What a complete joke. Why are they concerned? what's wrong with Xbox doing better? Makes no sense.
Business's "harm rivals" all the time it's one of the defining characteristics of business and competition.
You thing Sony did the crash bandicoot ads to help Nintendo? You think they did the borrowing games video to help Xbox? No they did it so people will buy there product instead there's, which would "harm" there competitors.
Sony spent 3 billions to keep Bungie totally independent :messenger_grinning_sweat: :messenger_tears_of_joy: Not to force them to release day one AAA releases on a subscription service at whatever financial cost (who cares if the bills are paid through other dominant positions which in the past were fined by European antitrust as well) to become the "Netflix of gaming".

You're choosing your examples really badly, the rest of your post simply lacks,disingenously, the difference between normal competition and abuse of dominant or financial position to crash rivals' chances and create a new dominant position.

According to you antitrust and regulators shouldn't exist, it's only normal that who has money can do whatever they want.
That is probably the same position that nVidia had when they wanted to buy ARM...ooopps.

In any case I think my position is clear so there's not much to add.
Its not like our discussion is going to have any impact on regulators lol.
We'll see what happens. I think that if European regulators allign with UK, Microsoft will be forced to make concessions if they want this to go through.
 

Kilau

Member
What about Sony, they just spent $3 billion for destiny? And have been aquiring several other studios. Making many smaller acquisitions is the same thing, it has the same effect.
Sony would have to make a lot of acquisitions to equal the publishing power of Activision. Their recent purchases have been miniscule in comparison. If they were to try to acquire EA or Ubi they should be met with the same scrutiny.
 
What about Sony, they just spent $3 billion for destiny? And have been aquiring several other studios. Making many smaller acquisitions is the same thing, it has the same effect.

Its like you all forget Microsoft bought over half a dozen studios even before they acquired Bethesda, and those were already bigger than Sonys purchases.

Mojang alone was already the size of Bungie’s acquisition.
 
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Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
Sony spent 3 billions to keep Bungie totally independent :messenger_grinning_sweat: :messenger_tears_of_joy: Not to force them to release day one AAA releases on a subscription service at whatever financial cost (who cares if the bills are paid through other dominant positions which in the past were fined by European antitrust as well) to become the "Netflix of gaming".
Independent? By definition Bungie are not "independent" anymore, they are a subsidiary of Sony. And Microsoft is not forcing anyone..., Weather games go to a sub service or sold at retail it makes no difference to the employees of Bungie or Activision, salary and bonuses would of been negotiated with the likely review every year. If you think PlayStation customers will not have extra incentives to play destiny and new Bungie games then that would be very naive.
You're choosing your examples really badly, the rest of your post simply lacks,disingenously, the difference between normal competition and abuse of dominant or financial position to crash rivals' chances and create a new dominant position.
When does a company become abusive? Would a 100 million dollar company be abused by Sony and unable to compete because they can't afford to buy a $230 million or $3 billion studio! You clearly have a double standard that when a company starts aquiring things at a certain financial threshold they suddenly become "abusive" and is no longer "normal competition"
According to you antitrust and regulators shouldn't exist, it's only normal that who has money can do whatever they want.
That is probably the same position that nVidia had when they wanted to buy ARM...ooopps.
Lol comparing the actiblizz deal to the nividia arm buyout is embarrassing, Arm basically have a monopoly on the architecture of just about every mobile CPU on the market., Actiblizz have several I.p's in a market of 1000’s, it's not comparable at all
In any case I think my position is clear so there's not much to add.
Its not like our discussion is going to have any impact on regulators lol.
We'll see what happens. I think that if European regulators allign with UK, Microsoft will be forced to make concessions if they want this to go through.
It's a shame you continue to ignore my points though. Or just write them off with "it's not about that" console sales and overall profit is exactly what the quote you posted is about, being able to compete is measured by these things. And I've shown that cod going on gamepass or in the extreme case Sony losing all cod players would only lose 10% of there install base..yet no counter argument from you about that. Because it's true.
Your not going to disagree with the quote u posted from the CMA are you, because it explicitly said they were concerned that MS competitors would not be able to compete and Sony losing 10% of it's install base shows that concern not to be the case.
Sony would have to make a lot of acquisitions to equal the publishing power of Activision. Their recent purchases have been miniscule in comparison. If they were to try to acquire EA or Ubi they should be met with the same scrutiny.
True they would, weather it's several smaller Devs or a few big ones the goal for MS is to offer an enticing gamepass library.
Its like you all forget Microsoft bought over half a dozen studios even before they acquired Bethesda, and those were already bigger than Sonys purchases.

Mojang alone was already the size of Bungie’s acquisition
Playground, ninja therapy, tim Schaeffer's one, obsidian etc were all in the same ballpark as Sony's. Mojang is the outlier.
I wouldn't mind if MS did more of this, but it would result in the same outcome as if they brought several studios at once.
 

Clear

Member
What about Sony, they just spent $3 billion for destiny? And have been aquiring several other studios. Making many smaller acquisitions is the same thing, it has the same effect.

The ABK buyout is 23x the size of Bungie. Its in no way comparable.

You want to see Sony buy another 22 studios/IP's of that size in order to make this square?
 
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Playground, ninja therapy, tim Schaeffer's one, obsidian etc were all in the same ballpark as Sony's. Mojang is the outlier.
I wouldn't mind if MS did more of this, but it would result in the same outcome as if they brought several studios at once.

Right. So every purchase sony has made in the last few years are equal to the purchases xbox made PRIOR to Zenimax and Activision, its not remotely on the same scale. Saying, “what about sony” doesn’t really make sense in this scenario. They’d have to buy like 25 more studios to equal the activision purchase, and about 10 more to equal the bethesda purchase
 
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Clear

Member
Sony wishes they could.

Why? They are already dominant in the space!

This goes to another issue, why is everyone so keen to hand over ownership of significant parts of the industry to a conglomerate with a track record in gaming that's inferior to their major competitors?
 

Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
The ABK buyout is 23x the size of Bungie. Its in no way comparable.

You want to see Sony buy another 22 studios/IP's of that size in order to make this square?
No for it to be square.

Sony would need to buy another 10 studios to bring there total sutdios to 32

Microsoft would have 38 after the acti-blizz deal but several are mobile devs.
 

Kagey K

Member
Why? They are already dominant in the space!

This goes to another issue, why is everyone so keen to hand over ownership of significant parts of the industry to a conglomerate with a track record in gaming that's inferior to their major competitors?
You ever hear any company say no it’s ok I already make enough money or I already have enough market share?

If they felt they were that dominant they wouldn’t be putting out the crybaby statements they did to the Brazilian (and likely other) regulators.
 

Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
Right. So every purchase sony has made in the last few years are equal to the purchases xbox made PRIOR to Zenimax and Activision, its not remotely on the same scale. Saying, “what about sony” doesn’t really make sense in this scenario. They’d have to buy like 25 more studios to equal the activision purchase, and about 10 more to equal the bethesda purchase
No its not, but my point is weather they buy a few big pubs or a bunch of individual studios would result in the same outcome.
Blocking the Acti-blizz deal is not going to stop Microsoft of reaching there goal of providing there own content for gamepass, they will just have to do it in a different way.
 
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Ozriel

Member
The ABK buyout is 23x the size of Bungie. Its in no way comparable.

You want to see Sony buy another 22 studios/IP's of that size in order to make this square?
Activision is way more expensive than Bungie largely because of the value of the IP, but also a significant chunk of that comes from the mobile dev King

How does it equate to 22 studios?
 
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Why? They are already dominant in the space!

This goes to another issue, why is everyone so keen to hand over ownership of significant parts of the industry to a conglomerate with a track record in gaming that's inferior to their major competitors?
Lol you’re lying to yourself if you think Sony wouldn’t do the same if they were capable.
 
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poppabk

Member
Its the exact same "could" as MS permitting titles from pubs/devs they own appear on other platforms. The argument I'm making is not that the acquisition isn't beneficial to MS in terms of market/product control, its that there's no real upside to the end user beyond bragging rights.

As I wrote, its solely about cheering on a corporate behemoth because... well, apparently some people have made MS their corporation of choice to stand behind.
If MS didn't have gamepass I would agree, but for anyone already paying for gamepass - having a whole bunch more content available is a very obvious upside.
 

Clear

Member
Activision is way more expensive than Bungie largely because of the value of the IP, but also a significant chunk of that comes from the mobile dev King

How does it equate to 22 studios?

Raw cost. Divide the expense of the ABK acquisition by that of Bungie. You know, the same cost argument that precludes Sony a company with a $97b market cap from buying another for $70b, because quite obviously there's nothing to stop Sony from going on an Embracer-like spree of cheap buy-outs.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
Sony wishes they could.

They will definitely try. The pandora's box of acquisitions has been opened.

MS will definitely not be going for another BIG studio like this, but I expect them to bring in smaller studios once ABK is done.
 
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John Wick

Member
The deal will go through because a lot of what is said is false.
PlayStation is a lot more then just COD, they have a lot of valuble I.p, will they be less successful then if they COD? Yes, but that's competition, that's business.

Also, If the zenimax deal went through I don't see why this shouldn't, yes actiblizz is a lot bigger, but ms could just buy a couple more zenimax sized pubs instead and get a similar effect.

Also Sony could discount COD on PlayStation, maybe include free MP + a few free months ps extra with it.
MS need investigating thoroughly both by the UK and EU. What is false? The points raised are true because MS has a history of doing this.
 

Banjo64

cumsessed
They will definitely try. The pandora's box of acquisitions has been opened.

MS will definitely not be going for another BIG studio like this, but I expect them to bring in smaller studios once ABK is done.
Really? I think it’s a sure thing that they are going to try and buy EA after this. CoD and sports crowd is the biggest pull for the casual crowd.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
Really? I think it’s a sure thing that they are going to try and buy EA after this. CoD and sports crowd is the biggest pull for the casual crowd.

If they get through this one big acquisition successfully, no way any regulatory let's them get another big one of a similar caliber without some major anti competitive concerns.
 
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Banjo64

cumsessed
All an act , to show they care .. in the end they will agree 🤣

Even if it's just for appearances (all UK regulators are very pro-business), at least they're going through the motions instead of rubber stamping like Saudi.

They're just making a public show of it. It will be approved.

Ya'll still arguing the toss about this?

I'm British and I nar it's gonna pass. Our economy is in the shitter. Our govt regs are full of shit. This is all just media soundbites to try sound better than EU regs or USA regs. We won't try stop this.

We're like coming to a kindergartens lunch table and trying to show off, then realising we're at the senior lunch tablet and will quickly shut the fuck up.

I nar politics isn't allowed @EviLore, but my country is toothless and baring our crooked yellow teeth for ne reason cause we don't matter now.
Fairly certain the CMA was a huge part in the collapse of the Nvidia Arm $40b merger.
 

DenchDeckard

Gold Member
Yes, and they wouldn't need to spend that much.

Who do they hire though? They tried hiring the best of the best for the initiative and that sounds like it didn't work.

Just like how you can buy the best players for a sports team but it doesn't mean they'll gel.

There's a serious staffing problem in the games industry at the minute. I don't know how you could just make a new studio.

Guess it would need to be something like haven etc but for 69 billion Microsoft are getting so much ip.

And King....shit king will pay for itself.
 
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