Faced with investigations in Brazil, the UK, the US and Europe, Microsoft could make some concessions in order to get the ”yes” from the regulatory bodies.
The “war” between Microsoft and Sony continues after the purchase of Activision-Blizzard, valued at $68.7 billion. Said operation has not yet been approved by the main regulatory bodies, so there is still cloth to cut.
From sony are concerned about the possible exclusivity of Call of Dutythe most successful IP of Activision Blizzard that every year sells millions and millions of games on PlayStation consoles.
Although, initially, Phil Spencer (head of the Xbox division) confirmed that the licenses would continue to appear on PlayStation, in recent weeks this statement has been questioned.
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The UK CMA reflects differing views on both the Microsoft and Sony sides. For example, Jim Ryan believes that the operation will be detrimental to the industry and consumersand ensures that Microsoft does not allow PS Plus to be available on Xbox.
They also point out that Battlefield and other shooters cannot compete with Call of Duty, should it become an Xbox exclusive. At Microsoft they believe that Sony has more and better exclusives, and also They report a block to Game Pass on PS5/PS4.
The key could be in the concessions
The purchase of Activision Blizzard is still under investigation by antitrust commissions and the main market regulatory bodies.
In the case of the European Union, the deadline to submit allegations and documents expires next January 2023. Microsoft has until that date to convince the EU about the feasibility of the operation.
As reported Reuters, Microsoft is willing to give a series of “concessions” to get the yes of the EU regulatory body.
At the moment there is no official confirmation of this movement. However, Reuters assures that these concessions could convince the European organism, and, in case of accepting the purchase, this decision would strongly influence the rest of the world markets.
”Ultimately, such a move could secure early clearance with the European Commission and subsequently be used by the parties before other antitrust agencies.” says the McDermott Will & Emery law firm.
What concessions are we talking about? Apparently, one of them would be the offer of keep Call of Duty for the next decade (until 2033). Sony has not yet commented on the matter.
It could be Sony’s last chance to keep the war saga on PlayStation, although of course only for 10 years. Of course, in case of declining the offer, Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard would continue under investigation.
”However, it remains to be seen whether active complainants will validate such concessions (particularly in terms of scope) and whether the CMA and FTC will also accept behavioral remedies.”.
In Microsoft they trust that the EU approves the purchase if Sony accepts this offer. And it is a matter of time before these concessions influence other organizations to give the green light to the operation.
In the meantime, the purchase of Activision Blizzard It remains unbound, pending approval from regulatory bodies. At Microsoft, Sony’s complaints have not been taken well… and they confirmed again that The Elder Scrolls VI will not be released on PlayStation.