Microsoft justifies a $69 billion Activision agreement

Image credit: The Star

In a meeting for the EU contests, Microsoft defended its plan to acquire Activision Blizzard, the company behind popular video games like Candy Crush and Call of Duty.

Microsoft claims that it thinks the $68.7 billion (£56.8 billion) agreement will provide more players with more options.

The combination, according to competitor Sony, which was present at the hearing, would give Microsoft excessive influence over some of the most popular video games in the world.

Xbox is owned by Microsoft’s main rival, Sony, which owns the PlayStation gaming platform.

Tuesday’s EU session, according to Microsoft President Brad Smith, was “a significant day.”

He also dismissed Sony’s worries that if the merger goes through, Xbox gamers might only be able to play Call of Duty and other Activision Blizzard games.

After the hearing, he stated, “This has never been about spending $69 billion so we could buy games like Call of Duty and make them less accessible.”

Activision Blizzard issued a statement saying: “We are certain regulators will determine that our group is required to promote competition, create more opportunities for employees, and produce better games for our players.”

Although the session was private and not available to the public or press, it was also rumoured that chip designers NVidia and Google were there.

Microsoft and NVidia have announced an agreement that would make Activision Blizzard and Xbox PC games accessible through GeForce Now, NVidia’s cloud-streaming service.

The software company needs to persuade authorities all across the world that the acquisition, which is the biggest in gaming history, won’t hurt its rivals. Microsoft has one last chance to present its argument in Europe today before the commission reaches a decision.

It has already received approval from some nations, including Saudi Arabia, Chile, and Brazil. Although it has not yet made a final decision, the UK’s competition authority recently declared its opposition to the deal, and the European Commission commissioned an investigation.

The UK Authority for Competition and Markets has suggested that Call of Duty might be offered separately.

Sony has so far rejected Microsoft’s offer to make all current Activision Blizzard titles available on Nintendo, Sony, and Steam for at least the next ten years.

The company has already bought game developers like Fallout creator Bethesda and Minecraft creator Mojang. The new Bethesda game Starfield will initially be an Xbox exclusive when it comes, as it has already been announced.