As anticipated, the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has rendered its preliminary verdict on the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard deal. There might be a extra in-depth overview because of competitors considerations.

Sorcha O’Carroll, Senior Director of Mergers on the CMA, said:

Following our Phase 1 investigation, we’re involved that Microsoft might use its management over common video games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft post-merger to hurt rivals, together with current and future rivals in multi-game subscription companies and cloud gaming.

If our present considerations usually are not addressed, we plan to discover this deal in an in-depth Phase 2 investigation to succeed in a call that works within the pursuits of UK players and companies.

For its half, Microsoft’s Head of Gaming Phil Spencer revealed a prolonged reply highlighting why this deal wouldn’t truly introduce any competitors points inside the gaming trade.

We’ve heard that this deal may take franchises like Call of Duty away from the locations where folks at present play them.  That’s why, as we’ve stated earlier than, we’re dedicated to creating the identical model of Call of Duty obtainable on PlayStation on the identical day the game launches elsewhere.  We will proceed to allow folks to play with one another throughout platforms and throughout units. We know gamers profit from this strategy as a result of we’ve finished it with Minecraft, which continues to be obtainable on a number of platforms and has expanded to much more since Mojang joined Microsoft in 2014.  As we prolong our gaming storefront throughout new units and platforms, we are going to be certain that we achieve this in a way that protects the power of builders to decide on the right way to distribute their video games.

We will proceed to interact with regulators with a spirit of transparency and openness as they overview this acquisition. We respect and welcome the laborious questions which might be being requested. The gaming trade at the moment is powerful and dynamic. Industry leaders, together with Tencent and Sony, proceed to develop their deep and in depth libraries of video games in addition to different leisure manufacturers and franchises, that are loved by gamers in every single place. We consider {that a} thorough overview will show that the mixture of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will profit the trade and gamers.

Spencer additionally confirmed that Activision Blizzard’s library, together with Overwatch, Diablo, and Call of Duty, could be headed to Game Pass. That is, in fact, if the deal finally ends up going by.

We ought to hear from different regulators, such because the United States FTC, pretty quickly. Stay tuned.