Microsoft has hit a few stumbling blocks in the process of getting its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard approved by regulatory authorities around the world, with the likes of the US’ Federal Trade Commission, the European Commission, and the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK all having voiced concerns over how the deal would impact competition if it were allowed to go through.
One of the major sticking points – and something Sony in particular has stressed as well – has been the possibility of Microsoft turning Call of Duty into an Xbox-exclusive franchise- though the company has once again issued a statement that says it has no intention to do that, and that it would make “zero business sense” to do so.
“As we have said all along: it makes zero business sense to take Call of Duty off of PlayStation,” said Rima Alaily, the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Competition Law Group, while speaking to Axios.
She also added that as per a survey commissioned by Microsoft, only 3% of players would be willing to switch from PlayStation to Xbox if Call of Duty did indeed become exclusive to the latter. As per Alaily, that figure is “too small to hurt Sony’s ability to compete and too small to make a withholding strategy profitable for Xbox.”
Microsoft has, of course, stressed time and again that it has no intention to turn Call of Duty into an exclusive franchise, and has taken steps to that end as well, having agreed deals with the likes of Nintendo and Nvidia to bring the franchise to their platforms for at least the next ten years with full content and features parity. A similar deal is also on the table for Sony, though it hasn’t yet been agreed.
Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is likely to be approved by EU regulators, recent reports have claimed, while it’s been suggested that the UK’s CMA is also likely to greenlight the deal.
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