Microsoft takes out full-page ads in UK newspapers promoting its plans to merge Activision Blizzard.
As The Verge reporter Tom Warren spotted, the ad below appeared in both the Financial Times and the Daily Mail this week.
It includes Microsoft’s claim that if the $69 billion deal goes through, Xbox is able to provide Call of Duty to over 150 million players.
This statement refers to Microsoft’s commitment the ultimate shooter series for Nintendo Switch nearly 125 million installed bases, and GeForce Now’s 25 million users.
Last month, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it was tentative stated that Microsoft’s Activision deal could reduce competition and “lead to higher prices, less choice or less innovation” for players.
It suggested that the simplest way to ensure that competition is not significantly weakened would be to block the deal entirely or to implement a partial sale of Activision Blizzard, in which parts of the business, such as Call of Duty, are sold and removed from the equation. .
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However, the CMA said it would also consider behavioral remedies, such as Microsoft’s commitment to make Call of Duty available on other platforms after the merger, although it sees them as less favorable than structural ones, which rarely require monitoring and enforcement after implementation.
The CMA has expressed concern that Microsoft could decide to apply various tactics to stifle competition if the deal is approved. These include withholding games or content from competitors Sony and degrade the quality Activision titles on PlayStation.
In its response to those findings, published Wednesday, Sony argued that behavioral remedies would not be enough to address the regulator’s concerns because there are “numerous ways Microsoft can deny or reduce access.” [which] would be very difficult to monitor and control.”
One of the ways Microsoft could choose to evade its obligations would be release buggy Call of Duty games for PlayStationit claimed.
Microsoft recently announced that offered Sony a 10-year legally enforceable contract to get every new Call of Duty game on PlayStation the same day it comes on Xbox – with full content and feature parity.
In its response to the CMA’s findings, Microsoft confirmed that it had also offered Sony an opportunity put future Call of Duty games on PlayStation Plus subscription service on day one, although its competitor claimed that the offer may have been subject to unsustainable license costs, which would force it to raise prices.
Microsoft also aimed for it dismisses suggestions it could raise Xbox Game Pass prices after popular Activision Blizzard content was added to its subscription services following the merger.
The company has also said that this is the case willing to pay a third party monitor compliance with agreed behavioral remedies.