Microsoft's $69 Billion Activision Deal Could Harm UK Gamers, Watchdog Finds
Wednesday February 8, 2023. 03:50 PM , from Slashdot
Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard will harm competition in the UK gaming market, Britain's antitrust watchdog provisionally warned, saying it could force the selloff of the blockbuster Call of Duty franchise. From a report: The Competition and Markets Authority said it took an initial view that the deal could result in a substantial lessening in competition, higher prices, fewer choices or less innovation for UK gamers, according to a statement published Wednesday. Microsoft first announced the Activision deal last year, looking to add games like Call of Duty to a business that already includes the Xbox console, the Halo franchise and Minecraft world-building software.
But the tie-up has fallen foul of global regulators who fear that Microsoft could make it harder for rival platforms to get unfettered access to Activision's most popular titles. The British agency has suggested a number of structural remedies that include the divestiture of the business associated with Call of Duty, the Activision part of the business or blocking the merger altogether. The CMA also said it would consider a behavioral remedies that would promise rivals can access to Call of Duty, although it flagged concerns about its ability to manage these.
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