Microsoft has told New Zealand regulators that there is “nothing unique” about Activision Blizzard titles, in its latest bid to get its pricey merger approved. In a document presented to the Business Acquisitions and Authorizations Commerce Commission, Microsoft says that the gaming giant doesn’t produce any “must have” titles, and should therefore be permitted to go ahead with the acquisition.
This claim is part of Microsoft’s efforts to alleviate fears that its Activision Blizzard merger threatens the gaming industry, creating issues surrounding competition in the market. In doing this, Microsoft has said that its rivals would get by just fine without Activision Blizzard titles, and would still be able to compete in a “vibrant” gaming market.
“The vast majority of games are developed and published by parties other than [Activision Blizzard] such as Sony, Nintendo, EA and Take-Two”, reads the document, addressing concerns over monopolization of the industry (thanks, Twisted Voxel).
“Specifically, with respect to Activision Blizzard video games, there is nothing unique about the video games developed and published by Activision Blizzard”, the statement continues. “[There are no] ‘must have[s]’ for rival PC and console video game distributors that could give rise to a foreclosure concern.”
This might sound like surprisingly harsh language coming from the tech giant that wants to buy the studio, but it’s unlikely that it is referring to the quality of Activision Blizzard games. Rather, it seems to be a statement intended for regulators who may not understand the gaming market, and therefore need to be made aware that Activision Blizzard doesn’t have a monopoly on a particular genre. But hey, it’s a pretty funny read regardless.
This isn’t the only point the company raises to ease concerns that the merger would give them an unfair advantage in the industry. Microsoft also claims that the gaming industry has “low barriers to entry”, meaning that “content will remain available for distribution to rival PC, console and mobile distributors”.
It’s looking increasingly likely that Microsoft will soon have the regulatory approval it needs to go ahead with the merger. As we recently reported, the deal could get permission from US regulators as soon as August – potentially just weeks away. It depends on whether or not the companies are requested to present further evidence to the regulators. If not, the deal can go ahead.
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