Microsoft is reportedly about to face another intense probe into its Xbox Activision Blizzard acquisition in both the UK and Europe. The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says the purchase of Activision, which is set to cost Microsoft $68.7 billion is set to get expanded to a second phase which not only delays the overall progress of the purchase but might threaten the deal in its entirety.
The CMA says the main focus of the second probe is to investigate its impact on Sony specifically and PlayStation’s ability to compete in the market. The CMA is expected to officially expand its antitrust probe into this Microsoft deal by next week after the company failed to address and offer any remedies to the concerns surrounding the acquisition which came out of the first probe.
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The second probe is going to be a lot more intense for Microsoft according to reports. it would see the CMA appoint an independent panel to scrutinise every single detail of the deal and further investigate the impact it will have on the competition in the market.
The Financial Times says that this second probe is only the beginning of the struggle for Microsoft. The company has yet to file its case in multiple countries which also needs to oversee the purchase. The second probe is also set to kick off as soon as Microsoft files the case in
“It is a big deal, a difficult deal,” a Brussels source said to be familiar with the transaction told the publication. “It needs an extensive investigation.”
Of course, on the other side of the fence, Sony is welcoming the delay and the further investigations into the deal. The company has already been vocal about its feelings on the Microsoft and Activision purchase saying that keeping the Call of Duty series on PlayStation isn’t adequate enough to practice fair business in the industry.
Since the second probe was announced, Sony has further explained its concerns surrounding the deal. The company says by giving Microsoft control of Activision games like Call of Duty, this deal would have major negative implications for gaming. They say:
“We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA’s focus on protecting gamers.”
Sony’s biggest concern seems to be the future of this deal and how long Microsoft will keep games multi-platform. We know Microsoft plans on keeping the Call of Duty series on PlayStation for “several more years” but at the moment, that isn’t good enough for Sony. In an update from the company, Phil Spencer has recently spoken out about the Call of Duty games saying:
“It makes zero business sense for Microsoft to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation given its market leading console position.”
We don’t know how long this probe is going to take but will we update you on further news and information.
Source: Financial Times