from obvious-strategy-obvious department
Microsoft continues to take steps to circumvent various regulators that have raised concerns about its purchase of Activision Blizzard. While there are many signs that EU regulators are preparing to approve the deal, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have yet to go through in the states. Microsoft’s strategy to overcome these obstacles is very simple. Call of Duty: franchise on as many platforms as possible to show regulators that they don’t plan to make the games exclusive. Microsoft already has a deal for it with Nintendo and a proposed deal for it with Sony, which was originally the main private objector to the acquisition.
And now Microsoft is stacking them up by inking two more CoD: deals with both game streaming platforms.
Microsoft announced Tuesday that it has signed a 10-year deal to bring its Xbox PC games to the little-known Ukrainian streaming platform Boosteroid. The step is partially positioned in the “mac[e] It’s even clearer to regulators that our acquisition of Activision Blizzard will make Call of Duty available on many more devices than ever before,” Microsoft vice president and president Brad Smith said in a statement.
The new deal comes a month after Microsoft signed a similar 10-year commitment with Nvidia to bring Xbox PC games to the company’s GeForce Now streaming service.
As I said, the reason for these transactions is obvious. Microsoft doesn’t even bother to pretend otherwise, telling the Wall Street Journal directly that these new deals will make it harder for Sony to make arguments in court or before regulators that focus on exclusivity. CoD: privilege
Just as telling, if not more so, is what is happening at the FTC. There, the FTC, after hearing Sony’s arguments that Microsoft’s exclusivity over Bethesda titles should lead it to do the same with Activision Blizzard titles, appears to be considering opening the door to Microsoft for acquisition. of Sony exclusivity transactions in detail as part of the discovery process.
Microsoft alleges that the Complaint in this case alleges a number of allegations relating to exclusive arrangements between high performance video game console developers and video game publishers. Microsoft states that it is aware that the SIE requires many third-party publishers to agree to exclusivity provisions, including prohibiting publishers from placing their games on the Xbox multiplayer subscription service, and that it understands the full extent of the SIE’s exclusivity arrangements and their effect. the competitiveness of the industry will contribute to its protection.
Judge Chappell says this is because “the nature and extent of ․ [Sony’s] content licensing agreements relate to the Complaint’s allegations regarding exclusivity arrangements between Video Game Console Developers and Video Game Developers and Publishers.”
What does this mean? Well, that means that starting in 2019, Microsoft is going to look at the costs, terms, and conditions of all sorts of Sony exclusive deals over the past few years. And you can bet Sony doesn’t want to that released, especially if it’s involved in the kind of anti-competitive nonsense that Microsoft warns could be involved.
It remains to be hoped whether this information will be released to the public.
Treaty: antitrust, Call of Duty, competition, eu, ftc, UK
Companies: activision, activision blizzard, microsoft