The world of gaming is rapidly evolving with the advent of cloud technology, and the competition to be on top is often fierce. The latest victim of this competition is Microsoft, whose acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been blocked by the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority, or CMA, over concerns about competition in the cloud gaming market. This blog post will explore in more detail what led to this decision and what it means for the future of the gaming world.
The Competition and Markets Authority is an independent non-ministerial department of the UK government, responsible for maintaining competition protection and consumer rights within the country. As part of their responsibilities, the CMA investigates mergers and acquisitions to determine their impact on competition, consumer choice, and innovation.
When Microsoft announced its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for a staggering $68.7 billion, it set off alarm bells for the CMA, who began an investigation into the potential impact of the deal. After evaluating the evidence, the CMA concluded that the acquisition would significantly reduce competition in the cloud gaming market and restrict consumer choice.
Cloud gaming is becoming increasingly popular, as it allows gamers to stream games directly from servers rather than having to download and install them on their devices. It’s a technology that promises to revolutionize the way we play games in the future, and as such, a lucrative market that companies are desperate to dominate.
Microsoft is a major player in the cloud gaming market, thanks to its Xbox Game Pass service, which allows gamers to access a wide range of games for a monthly fee. Activision Blizzard, on the other hand, is the publisher behind some of the biggest gaming franchises in the world, such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush.
By bringing the two companies together, Microsoft would have had a significant advantage in the cloud gaming market, potentially locking out competitors such as Google Stadia and Amazon Luna. This is what worried the CMA and led to the decision to block the acquisition.
The decision by the CMA to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is a significant one, not just for the companies involved but for the future of the gaming world. While Microsoft may be disappointed by the ruling, it’s important to remember that competition is the lifeblood of innovation, and too much consolidation can be detrimental to consumer choice.
The CMA’s decision sends a clear message that they are committed to protecting competition and consumer interests in the UK, and it will be interesting to see what impact this will have on future mergers and acquisitions in the gaming industry. For gamers, the decision means that competition in the cloud gaming market is likely to remain healthy, with a variety of companies vying for dominance in this exciting new space.