CMA agrees with Microsoft on the issue of Call of Duty
Early last year it was announced that Microsoft reached an agreement to buy Activision Blizzard , but this agreement has to be approved by regulators before it can be carried out. One of the most important regulatory bodies is the CMA of the United Kingdom, which has just eased its investigation after concluding that the agreement will not negatively affect the market for video game consoles.
Since last year the Competition and Market Authority UK has been investigating the deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, paying special attention to Call of Duty and how this license may affect the console market. However, the latest results of the investigation indicate that the main concerns now are regarding the Cloud Gaming market, since they consider that Microsoft has no reason to make call of duty be exclusive to Xbox.
The CMA investigation continues and the new scheduled date for its final results to be published is April 26 from 2023. From this point on, the Commission will focus on analyzing how the agreement between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard affects the cloud gaming market, as they concluded that “the merger will not result in a substantial decrease in competition in console gaming services”.
Having considered the additional evidence provided, we have tentatively concluded that the merger will not result in a material decrease in competition in console video game services because Microsoft’s cost of retaining Call of Duty on PlayStation is greater than any gains it would get with such an action.”
Martin Coleman, the head of the independent panel of experts conducting the CMA investigation, said that “Microsoft’s cost to retain Call of Duty from PlayStation is greater than any profit it would make from such action”, agreeing with Microsoft who said that removing Call of Duty from PlayStation does not make commercial sense.
The original CMA analysis indicated that Microsoft could make Call of Duty exclusive to its own Xbox consoles, but new information indicates that such a decision would result in significant losses under any plausible scenario. “The updated analysis now shows that it will not be commercially beneficial for Microsoft to make CoD exclusive to Xbox after the agreement”, concludes the new report published by the CMA.