The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the United Kingdom has expressed its concern over Microsoft''s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, claiming that the deal would put an end to PlayStation and subscription offerings if Microsoft kept Activision Blizzard games off the platform.
Microsoft might rely on Activision Blizzard and its related services, according to the CMA, to disrupt streaming providers such as Amazon, Google, and Nvidia.
According to the source, the acquisition might have the "substantial decrease in competition in gaming consoles, multi-game subscription services, and cloud gaming services."
A lot of concern is raised about game subscriptions, but without this agreement, Activision Blizzard games may have been later released on other subscription services.
Microsoft claims that this is not the case, and that the body''s "unsupported harm theories" were inadequate to justify the CMA''s request for a Phase 2 investigation.
One of the CMA''s main concerns is the possibility of having a PlayStation acquisition. Microsoft says the company should not be concerned in the slightest, as PlayStation has a much larger user base, with or without Activision Blizzard games.
The firm has raised the possibility that PlayStation has a current installed base of 150 million, compared to Xbox''s install base of 63.7 million. Microsoft said that the suggestion that Sony, the current market leader, might be denied as a result of losing access to Call of Duty "is untrue."
If every Call of Duty player on PlayStation defect to Xbox, the player base on PlayStation would still be "significantly larger than on Xbox," according to the company.
"In short, Sony isn''t susceptible to a hypothetical foreclosure strategy," and the Referral Decision incorrectly relys on," said Micrsoft, adding that Sony''s "self-serving statements" "significantly exaggerate the importance of Call of Duty to it, and neglect to account for Sony''s clear ability to competitively respond."
Microsoft once again stated that it intends to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, as removing the system would "alienate" the fanbase and "tarnish both the Call of Duty and Xbox brands."
The second phase investigation of the CMA is expected to conclude in January, with a judgment expected before March 1.