VGC: UK competition watchdog says it could expand Xbox Activision merger inquiry over competition concerns

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
Remember how excited some ppl were when Sony was running around trying to buy timed exclusives for everything?

Now some of those same ppl are crying foul because MS said fuck the games I'm buying the devs.

Quick reninder: https://www.neogaf.com/threads/repo...ls-offered-more-money-than-microsoft.1560435/




There isn’t a major third party out there Sony failed to approach asking what kind of deals they could work out. Some had content, some had games, some had content and games. It is not like Microsoft was not willing to offer, they just didn’t want to pay the asking price, because Sony approached with pretty high numbers in the first place.

That ‘PlayStation Advantage’ branding and ‘Console Exclusive’ wording are both going to get a lot of use in the next few years.

But folks, please tell us about how MS is buying its way to the top 🤡
 
Last edited:

BreakOut

Member
There’s a lot to be concerned about. I think the deal will end up going through just fine, but acting like there’s “nothing to see here” is nuts. And some of it truly is just that it’s Microsoft, they have their hands in a lot of cookie jars gaming aside. There’s nothing wrong with scrutinizing and doing the work to ensure competition remains healthy and the industry does not become stagnant.
 
 

C2brixx

Member
Why does Microsoft an American company buying Activision another American company need approval from any other country besides America?
I'm looking forward to the FTC rulling. At the end of the day I can't see U.S. regulators taking the position that UK regulators are arguing.

They basically said Sony's market leading position needs to be protected. Nevermind Sony raising the price of their console and game prices to $70 being bad for consumers.
 

DaGwaphics

Member
You just have a bad take mate, so people are disagreeing with you.

I'll agree with you that 'attacked' was a poor choices of words. I should have said that I was surprised by the criticisms or disagreement regarding that statement. I felt is was basically an innocuous fact.

I don't feel attacked by you or Mr Moose Mr Moose . :messenger_grinning_smiling:
 
I'm looking forward to the FTC rulling. At the end of the day I can't see U.S. regulators taking the position that UK regulators are arguing.

They basically said Sony's market leading position needs to be protected. Nevermind Sony raising the price of their console and game prices to $70 being bad for consumers.
This is an excellent point. I have not heard a compelling argument how consumers are harmed by this acquisition. Activision being owned by MS means you can have access to multiple Activision titles through a subscription service, something that has never been offered before. In addition I'm guessing multiple titles will be playable through the cloud so you won't even need a console or PC to play. This is also something that was never offered before.

People keep forgetting you do not need an Xbox console to be in the Xbox ecosystem. Adding in that Xbox will continue to put titles on non Xbox platforms I can't see how this is harmful to the everyday consumer.
 
Isn’t that kind of dumb though? Are the games subscription exclusive or will they be released out of the subscription? There’s the answer to your clear cut case argument.

Leveraging their position to force subscription is exactly the kind of practice these government bodies are trying to prevent…
It kills the argument for platform competition concerns and exclusivity.
And building a platform is 1000 times harder than building a successful subscription service.

The former is rarely done. The latter is happening all the time.
Microsoft failed to build a mobile platform. Microsoft.



Disney, HBO, Amazon, Netflix, and Paramount all build a successful subscription service in the same space.
For gaming it's similar. Nvidia build one, EA build one, Nintendo got into it. Even tho they're all a little different, they succeeded.



And when it comes to competition, there is always a market leader and there is always someone who will become the new market leader. That is the system working.
So besides due diligence i don't even know why there is a big case here.
Unlike Provider, Energy or Food, the gaming market is hyper competitive.
 
Last edited:

Rac3r

Member
What a dumb response. Embracer? So what games are Embracer taking away from MS whilst being multiplatform?
Sony's 9 gaming studios? Which 9 are those and what IP and games do they have?

That man tried to compare Sony buying Insomniac to Microsoft's Bethesda acquisition in a previous thread. Completely ignored the IPs in question. One of the biggest bullshitters on this forum.
 

Three

Member
When they release a Zelda game, you don't think they have the potential to sell 20m? When they follow that up later with a Mario release, you don't think they have the potential to sell 20m? What about when they release Pokemon?

You do you pal.
CoD as a franchise sells more than Zelda and Mario combined but most activision games don't come to Nintendo consoles anyway . Regardless this isn't even about game sales or consoles even.

"harm rivals, including recent and future rivals in multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming,”

This is what it's about. It's why even when Don Mattrick was in charge Phil and Yusuf Mehdi were talking about " billions of xbox users" and Amazon, Apple, and Google as rivals and Sony not being a rival at all and how console sales are not part of their strategy. Now they are here pretending that they are some lowly underdog rivals to Sony in third place by bringing up consoles.

Sony has acquired 9 gaming studios in the last year and a half. Embracer double that or more.
You know what this is about and bringing up Embracer is a cop out which has no relevance.
 
Last edited:

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
You know what this is about and bringing up Embracer is a cop out which has no relevance.

The post I quoted when saying Embracer was about buying your way to the top.

Embracer has quite literally bought their way to the top and become the single biggest publishing house in the last year because of acquisitions.
 
Last edited:

Three

Member
The post I quoted when saying Embracer was about buying your way to the top.

Embracer has quite literally bought their way to the top and become the single biggest publishing house in the last year because of acquisitions.
What has Embracer bought their way to the top of? It's not the single biggest publishing house. It has the most individual studio trademark names but it's by no definition the single biggest publishing house. They have a small segment of the market. Shrimps are no Sharks.
 
Last edited:
Well, I guess a lot of people were right - nobody buys Sony for exclusives but only for COD :messenger_tears_of_joy:
Or both. Should be common sense that multiplayer-focused games are more popular, because you can continu playing them.

Exclusives, which in Sony's case are mostly singleplayer games, are purely to seperate one system from another.
 
Last edited:

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
What has Embracer bought their way to the top of? It's not the single biggest publishing house. It has the most individual studio trademark names but it's by no definition the single biggest publishing house. They have a small segment of the market. Shrimps are no Sharks.

They are quite literally the single biggest publishing house with the most developing studios under their banner now.

Ubisoft is the second closest but most of their portfolio is their own regional subsidiaries.


 
Last edited:

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?

We are fortunate to have already received approvals from a couple of countries, and the process with all of the regulators is generally moving along as we expected.

Bobby Kotick in an open letter yesterday said that they have already received approvals from a couple of countries.
 

Three

Member
They are quite literally the single biggest publishing house with the most developing studios under their banner now.

Ubisoft is the second closest but most of their portfolio is their own regional subsidiaries.


Yes, exactly as I said already, they have the most trademarked studio names but they are not the biggest publishing house by a long shot by any definition. The games they sell are not even in the same ballpark as CoD or Elder Scrolls. Many shrimps do not make a shark.
 
Last edited:

Tripolygon

Member
Yes, exactly as I said already, they have the most trademarked studio names but they are not the biggest publishing house by a long shot by any definition. The games they sell are not even in the same ballpark as CoD or Elder Scrolls. Many shrimps do not make a shark.
And their games are multiplatform so I don’t even understand how that falls into this inquiry. Embracer buying studios doesn’t affect Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony in any way. Those studios remain multiplatform.

What this inquiry is about is Microsoft buying these massive established IPs with established customer base and removing it from the platforms they are accustomed to playing it on. To pretend it’s something else is disingenuous. It is literally spelled out in the notes why they are worried about the acquisition and they use Bethesda as one example.
 
Last edited:

DaGwaphics

Member
"harm rivals, including recent and future rivals in multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming,”

That statement is particularly disingenuous to me, just because some of the newer entrants into the space (Sony) or perspective entrants (Nintendo) already have catalogs of content that more than rival Activision content as a whole, which would become exclusive to their service. Flipping the script to a point where it becomes MS that is unable to compete without attempting to level the playing field.
 

Mozza

Member
All an act , to show they care .. in the end they will agree 🤣
So true, it's like the Conservative government investigating itself, this deal will go through with very little issue. Then at that point we will get to know Microsoft's full intentions with the franchises etc.
 

Three

Member
That statement is particularly disingenuous to me, just because some of the newer entrants into the space (Sony) or perspective entrants (Nintendo) already have catalogs of content that more than rival Activision content as a whole, which would become exclusive to their service. Flipping the script to a point where it becomes MS that is unable to compete without attempting to level the playing field.
Why would it be disingenuous? That statement is from the UK competition watchdog, The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and it's nothing but factual. Are you and the rest not always touting how GP has 60% of the market even without ABK already and how Stadia, PS Now, and other competing cloud gaming/multigame subs are failures?
 
Last edited:

DaGwaphics

Member
Why would it be disingenuous? That statement is from the UK competition watchdog and it's nothing but factual. Are you and the rest not always touting how GP has 60% of the market even without ABK already and how Stadia, PS Now, and other competing cloud gaming/multigame subs are failures?

It should be an extremely easy argument for MS to make a credible case against, especially in the event that it goes to a trial/court proceeding (not sure what the process is in the UK for this). It's a position that defies common logic and could lead to fewer competitors in the field not more.
 

Three

Member
It should be an extremely easy argument for MS to make a credible case against, especially in the event that it goes to a trial/court proceeding (not sure what the process is in the UK for this). It's a position that defies common logic and could lead to fewer competitors in the field not more.
What defies common logic and could lead to fewer competitors? The deal not going through?

If it can be easily argued against then that is the information they would need to provide to the CMA but nothing about the CMA statement is disingenuous, it's factual.
 
Last edited:

DaGwaphics

Member
What defies common logic and could lead to fewer competitors? The deal not going through?

The idea that IP can't be purchased to compete in order to protect competition is a flawed one. Primarily because the time needed to build competitive IPs from scratch would be too great to be a real option. Thus, if no new entrants can purchase an IP catalog, there would be no real competitors for Nintendo/Sony in the long term.
 

Three

Member
The idea that IP can't be purchased to compete in order to protect competition is a flawed one. Primarily because the time needed to build competitive IPs from scratch would be too great to be a real option. Thus, if no new entrants can purchase an IP catalog, there would be no real competitors for Nintendo/Sony in the long term.
So you are saying MS is failing to compete with Nintendo and Sony without Activision Blizzard and in particular on multigame subs and cloud gaming? You think there will be less competition if they didn't buy it? Sorry but that's bullshit.

Nobody is saying IPs can't be purchased, it's not like MS haven't already purchased some of the biggest in the industry, Minecraft, Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Quake, plus they owned their own but the idea that buying the biggest IPs and publisher can't be used to hurt rivals is a disingenuous take from you and not the CMA. The CMA only want information and reassurance that this is not the case but what they are saying is factual.
 
Last edited:

DaGwaphics

Member
So you are saying MS is failing to compete with Nintendo and Sony without Activision Blizzard and in particular on multigame subs and cloud gaming? You think there will be less competition if they didn't buy it? Sorry but that's bullshit.

Nobody is saying IPs can't be purchased, it's not like MS haven't already purchased some of the biggest 8n the industry, Minecraft, Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Quake, plus they owned their own but the idea that buying the biggest IPs and publisher can't be used to hurt rivals is a disingenuous take from you and not the CMA. The CMA only want information and reassurance that this is not the case but what they are saying is factual.

Is the CMA capable of making a factual statement? Seems like they make opinions that can then be argued against, no position they take is a matter of fact, unless the parties involved take it as that. I'm taking it that this could ultimately be pushed to a court proceeding of some kind where a definitive ruling would be made. At least that's how it works with the FTC.
 
Last edited:
The acquisition will go through but cod will have to stay multiplatform. The biggest benefit Microsoft will get is cod day 1 on gamepass. While they can still sell millions of copies on Playstation. Its win win for both sides.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
So you are saying MS is failing to compete with Nintendo and Sony without Activision Blizzard and in particular on multigame subs and cloud gaming? You think there will be less competition if they didn't buy it? Sorry but that's bullshit.

Nobody is saying IPs can't be purchased, it's not like MS haven't already purchased some of the biggest in the industry, Minecraft, Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Quake, plus they owned their own but the idea that buying the biggest IPs and publisher can't be used to hurt rivals is a disingenuous take from you and not the CMA. The CMA only want information and reassurance that this is not the case but what they are saying is factual.

Literally every other major publisher and even Apple and Nintendo have already openly told when asked by Brazil that they don't have any objections to this acquisition.

Sony is the only hold up and the CMA wording seems to be more worried about making sure Sony's market dominance is not threatened than the actual state of the market and competition.

No wonder CMA is being clowned on by the vast majority of folks responding to this.
 

Three

Member
Is the CMA capable of making a factual statement? Seems like they make opinions that can then be argued against, no position they take is a matter of fact, unless the parties involved take it as that. I'm taking it that this could ultimately be pushed to a court proceeding of some kind where a definitive ruling would be made. At least that's how it works with the FTC.
Yes?

Exactly the one you are calling disingenuous:

"Microsoft could use its control over popular games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft post-merger to harm rivals, including recent and future rivals in multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming"

This is a factual statement. They asked for information from MS regarding these concerns. MS now need to respond to show this is not the case and give assurances. Nothing about that statement is disingenuous though and suggesting that there would be fewer competitors if MS don't buy ABK is absurd.

Literally every other major publisher and even Apple and Nintendo have already openly told when asked by Brazil that they don't have any objections to this acquisition.

Sony is the only hold up and the CMA wording seems to be more worried about making sure Sony's market dominance is not threatened than the actual state of the market and competition.

No wonder CMA is being clowned on by the vast majority of folks responding to this.

No company has objected anything. They aren't allowed to. They only answer questions asked by the authorities. Apple and Meta have most of their answers redacted. Nintendo didn't even answer any questions because why would they they don't have CoD anyway. Sony just said CoD is hard to compete with, with other IP, even with significant budget investment. That's it. I know you want this deal to go through but nobody is a clown.
 
Last edited:
Yes?

Exactly the one you are calling disingenuous:

"Microsoft could use its control over popular games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft post-merger to harm rivals, including recent and future rivals in multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming"

This is a factual statement. They asked for information from MS regarding these concerns. MS now need to respond to show this is not the case and give assurances. Nothing about that statement is disingenuous though and suggesting that there would be less competitors if MS don't buy ABK is absurd.

There would be actual competition. Imagine if Microsoft had to create their own big ip instead of buying up already established ones. Imagine if Microsoft themselves created a new ip to try to compete with cod? The industry would be so much better like that. There would be more games, more innovation and genuine competition for who can who make the best games.
 
Last edited:

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
No company has objected anything. They aren't allowed to. They only answer questions asked by the authorities. Apple and Meta have most of their answers redacted. Nintendo didn't even answer any questions because why would they they don't have CoD anyway. Sony just said CoD is hard to compete with, with other IP, even with significant budget investment. That's it. I know you want this deal to go through but nobody is a clown.

Nintendo wasn't mentioned and Apple was mostly redacted but they said they are aware of the merger and raised no specific concern outside of the redacted stuff we obviously don't know about.

Other major publishers who did give a concrete comments had this to say

WARNER BROS:
They don't have specific comments or concerns at this time regarding the transaction.

UBISOFT:
They don't think that ABK has unique games because there is no such a video game title that doesn't have close competition. All publishers and games compete for available playtime, and none title stands alone in its own genre.

RIOT GAMES:
They don't expect any anticompetitive effect on the market post acquisition.


"Microsoft could use its control over popular games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft post-merger to harm rivals, including recent and future rivals in multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming"

This is a factual statement. They asked for information from MS regarding these concerns. MS now need to respond to show this is not the case and give assurances. Nothing about that statement is disingenuous though and suggesting that there would be fewer competitors if MS don't buy ABK is absurd.

Again, that reads like CMA are looking out for Sony's best interest here. Nintendo clearly isn't being effected, if anything they *will* probably get more CoD games after this merger.

They have openly talked about keeping CoD (and other) games multi platform in the future.

Anyway, hopefully Phil is able to slip in a couple of quids in the file and get this ball rolling so we can have this over with.

Looks like UK and EU might be the only major hurdles, they've already got approvals from multiple other countries going by what Kotick said.

We are fortunate to have already received approvals from a couple of countries, and the process with all of the regulators is generally moving along as we expected.
 

GhostOfTsu

Member
There would be actual competition. Imagine if Microsoft had to create their own big ip instead of buying up already established ones. Imagine if Microsoft themselves created a new ip to try to compete with cod? The industry would be so much better like that. There would be more games, more innovation and genuine competition for who can who make the best games.
Exactly. They keep saying Sony needs to create their own if they want to compete but they never ask the same to Microsoft. Phil fans are laughing at Sony for not creating a COD rival while cheering for Microsoft to get more established IPs.

The expectation is that Microsoft can buy whatever they want and then Sony needs to create their own IPs. That's competition for them 🙄
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
The expectation is that Microsoft can buy whatever they want and then Sony needs to create their own IPs. That's competition for them 🙄


They quite literally bought one of the most successful new IPs of the last few years and the studio behind it.

How does the saying go ? "do as I say, not as I do" :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

Three

Member
Nintendo wasn't mentioned and Apple was mostly redacted but they said they are aware of the merger and raised no specific concern outside of the redacted stuff we obviously don't know about.

Other major publishers who did give a concrete comments had this to say






Again, that reads like CMA are looking out for Sony's best interest here. Nintendo clearly isn't being effected, if anything they *will* probably get more CoD games after this merger.

They have openly talked about keeping CoD (and other) games multi platform in the future.

Anyway, hopefully Phil is able to slip in a couple of quids in the file and get this ball rolling so we can have this over with.

Looks like UK and EU might be the only major hurdles, they've already got approvals from multiple other countries going by what Kotick said.
Those three are publishers not platform holders. What concern would they have with the possibility of fewer games to compete with on PS? It may even lead to boosts as people seek alternatives.

Anyway, I think that's what the CMA want information and assurance for, that the purchase would not lead to harm to rivals and in particular competing and new entrant multigame sub and cloud gaming rivals.
 
Last edited:

John Wick

Member
The post I quoted when saying Embracer was about buying your way to the top.

Embracer has quite literally bought their way to the top and become the single biggest publishing house in the last year because of acquisitions.
So their revenue and profit should should be higher than every other publisher?
Also they are third party which is the most relevant fact.
 

John Wick

Member
Looks like MS is upto it's old tricks again.

 
Last edited:

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
Looks like MS is upto it's old tricks again.

The article is literally saying they're making changes to allay antitrust concerns, as in they're making changes to comply with it and resolve any complaints EU might have.

This is not the slam dunk you wanted it to be :messenger_tears_of_joy:


 

reksveks

Member
The initial complaints came from small EU cloud providers and MS tried to get away with these sets of changes. It's upto regulators to decide whether it's good enough or not.

I personally don't think the EU will shed a tear for Amazon, Google or Alibaba.

If the EU regulators decides its not enough, then they will have to make some additional changes and/or removal that exclusion.

P. S. I have no issues with most of the CMA has said, and it does look like they want some relatively strict concessions. It's upto MS and the CMA to figure out what it is.
 

DaGwaphics

Member
"Microsoft could use its control over popular games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft post-merger to harm rivals, including recent and future rivals in multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming"

Still reads like an opinion and if they aren't the absolute final decision maker, it is still just an opinion, not a fact. It would be hard to say definitively that MS + Activision would be too big to compete with, maybe if it was MS + Activision + Ubisoft + EA + Take 2. Unless, the process is completely different over there and this isn't just a stop on the way to a potential legal proceeding if MS and the CMA can't come to an agreement here. I have no idea.
 

John Wick

Member
The article is literally saying they're making changes to allay antitrust concerns, as in they're making changes to comply with it and resolve any complaints EU might have.

This is not the slam dunk you wanted it to be :messenger_tears_of_joy:
The initial complaints came from small EU cloud providers and MS tried to get away with these sets of changes. It's upto regulators to decide whether it's good enough or not.

I personally don't think the EU will shed a tear for Amazon, Google or Alibaba.

If the EU regulators decides its not enough, then they will have to make some additional changes and/or removal that exclusion.

P. S. I have no issues with most of the CMA has said, and it does look like they want some relatively strict concessions. It's upto MS and the CMA to figure out what it is.
Looks like MS buying other publishers like EA and Take Two won't be happening like certain people were celebrating on here.
 

Clear

Member
What gets me is people acting like were the acquisition to be blocked they'd somehow lose out on something.

This acquisition offers the end user nothing that (1) they wouldn't get anyway, and (2) GP placements that MS could simply buy like they have from publishers they don't completely own.

Cheering on this acquisition is just corporate ball-washing at its purest.
 

SoraNoKuni

Member
I don't get how people defend this whole thing, Microsoft goes like "Just trust me bro" and people trust them, the same Microsoft that has anti trust policies in their DNA since their inception.

Yeah, there should be clear rules and guidelines and this acquisition must go through hell to be completed, and that's how it should be, there should be strict regulations, this ain't monopoly the boardgame.

EDIT: And that thing must apply to all of the industry .-
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom