Microsoft is still in the process of finishing its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, seeking regulatory approval around the world. However, the deal has drawn plenty of criticism in the gaming world, especially from Sony. Now, Microsoft is hitting back at those concerns from its biggest console rival.
One of Sony’s main concerns is that Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard will harm competition. The PlayStation company is not alone, it is a worry shared by many. In buying the developer, Call of Duty, Diablo, Warcraft, Candy Crush, and other triple-A franchises will fall under Microsoft’s wing.
Considering the company already purchased Bethesda Studios for over $7 billion, taking franchises like Elder Scrolls, there are concerns Microsoft is cornering the market. It is likely Microsoft will eventually make all these franchises exclusive to Xbox and PC through Game Pass. That would cut Sony out entirely.
The Japanese company says it thinks this would directly influence which console consumers choose to buy. It is a legitimate argument considering some consumers already choose their console based on first-party exclusives.
Microsoft Hits Back
Microsoft is addressing these claims in a detailed response to the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) in Brazil. This is one of the regulatory groups the company is attempting to appease before the Activision Blizzard deal can clear. Microsoft’s arguments rest on its acquisition is not in fact anti-competition.
The company says Sony is simply worried about losing its position as the market leader. In the document, which has plenty of redacted sections, Microsoft says Sony sold twice as many PS4 consoles as Microsoft sold Xbox One devices. Furthermore, it points out Sony is also the clear leader in current digital sales.
Microsoft argues when CADE asked Amazon, Apple, Google, Ubisoft, Riot Games, and Sony about the deal, only Sony had objections. Redmond suggests this is merely out of concern Xbox Game Pass will “threaten its (Sony’s) dominance.”
Importantly, Microsoft continues to insist franchises like Call of Duty will continue to be available on PlayStation.
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