What do you want to know
- Microsoft is working on acquiring Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion.
- The deal is undergoing regulatory review, with Microsoft’s console competitor Sony arguing the deal should be stalled.
- In the latest set of documents, Sony argued that Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard would allow Microsoft to raise console prices.
- Sony recently raised the price of the PS5 in all markets except the US
As Microsoft and Sony continue to make legal arguments over the future of Activision Blizzard, new angles and fun anecdotes abound for both companies.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK is reviewing Microsoft’s deal to acquire Activision Blizzard and, as part of the Phase 2 investigation, the regulator has released statements from Microsoft (opens in a new tab) and Sony (opens in a new tab). These conclusions, originally submitted in October but which are only now becoming public, outline the arguments of the two companies.
As part of its pitch, Sony puts forward the idea that after the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, “Microsoft would be able to: increase the prices of consoles and games for Xbox users (including those who have switched from PlayStation); increasing the price of Game Pass; and reducing innovation and quality.”
This notably comes just months after Sony recently hiked the price of the PS5, citing high inflation rates around the world. At the time, Microsoft said it wouldn’t raise the price of the Xbox Series X|S in the same way. Sony was also one of the first publishers to raise the price of its premium games to $70, alongside others such as Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive and Electronic Arts.
More recently, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer indicated that the company “may not be able” to maintain the price of games, Xbox Game Pass and new consoles forever, but that it was important to do so for at least the holidays of 2022. period.
Elsewhere in the docs, Microsoft again reiterates in many ways that it has no plans to pull Call of Duty from PlayStation. Microsoft points out that it has honored past agreements, such as when it acquired ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, which saw the release of Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo as timed PS5 console exclusives. Microsoft also pointed out that no Bethesda Softworks games have been pulled from PlayStation since the acquisition was completed.
As of now, the deal has been approved by some countries like Brazil, and Microsoft currently believes it will be finalized before June 30, 2023.