Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been under a great deal of scrutiny from authorities in recent weeks, with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) having cited concerns over the possibility of competition being impacted (for Sony in particular) should the deal go through. Xbox boss Phil Spencer, however, is of the opinion that the scrutiny is very much “fair” and “warranted”.
Speaking recently at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live event, when asked about the scrutiny that the proposed deal has found itself under, Spencer said that given the scale of the $70 billion acquisition, the discussions have been easy to understand.
“I would say the discussions have been very fair and honest,” he said (transcribed by VGC). “It is a big acquisition, there’s no doubt. Microsoft in its role in the tech industry, is a large tech company, and I do think the discussion around an acquisition of this size is warranted, and I’ve appreciated the time to go spend.”
Spencer went on to say that he’s confident the acquisition will end up being approved, echoing similar recent statements by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
“We’re really focused on getting the deal approved in the markets – I’m confident in that,” he said. “I was just in London last week, continue to have discussions with all the regulatory boards, and remain confident that we’ll get the deal approved.”
Plenty of opposition has emerged to the proposed acquisition from PlayStation in particular. SIE CEO Jim Ryan has publicly called Microsoft’s offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for three years beyond Sony’s existing agreement with Activision inadequate, while reportedly, he also recently “personally travelled” to the European Union headquarters in Brussels to voice concerns over the proposed acquisition.