Britain’s competition watchdog has temporarily dismissed concerns that Microsoft’s proposed takeover of Activision Blizzard would damage the UK console games market.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) warned last month that the £56.7bn deal could result in higher prices, less choice or less innovation for UK gamers.
However, it said its latest findings indicated that “the deal would not lead to a substantial reduction in console-related competition.” gamble in England”.
The CMA said its provisional position had changed following a period of consultation with interested parties.
it has been initially attracted attention Microsoft could choose to make popular Activision games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft exclusive to itself xbox console.
However, the regulator said on Friday that it now believes that “this strategy would be seriously loss-making” compared with the benefits of selling the games on rival consoles such as the PlayStation 5.
Martin Coleman, chair of the independent panel that conducted the CMA investigation, said: “The interim findings were a key aspect of the merger process and were clearly designed to give the businesses involved and any interested third parties an opportunity to respond with new evidence before they did. We made the final Decide.
“Having considered the additional evidence presented, we now tentatively conclude that the merger will not result in a substantial reduction in competition for console game services because Microsoft Or withholding Call of Duty from PlayStation would outweigh any gains from taking such action. “
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The CMA added that the deal raised concerns related to cloud gaming, but its provisional view was not “affected” by the update.
The investigation is due to conclude next month and the report is due by April 26.