what you need to know
- Microsoft is working to acquire Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion.
- The deal is under regulatory review, with Microsoft’s console competitor Sony arguing that the deal should be blocked.
- In the latest round of filings, Sony argued that Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard will allow Microsoft to increase the prices of the consoles.
- Sony recently raised the price of the PS5 in all markets except the US.
As Microsoft and Sony continue to make legal arguments about the future of Activision Blizzard, new angles and amusing anecdotes for both companies abound.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is reviewing the deal for Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard and, as part of the Phase 2 investigation, the regulator released statements of Microsoft (opens in a new tab) Y sony (opens in a new tab). These findings, which were originally presented in October but are now being made public, outline the arguments of both companies.
As part of its argument, Sony floats the idea that after acquiring Activision Blizzard, “Microsoft could: increase console and game prices for Xbox users (including those who switched from PlayStation); increase the price of Game Pass; and reduce innovation and quality.
This notably comes just a few months after Sony recently increased the price of the PS5, citing high inflation rates around the world. At the time, Microsoft stated that it would not increase the price of Xbox Series X|S in a similar way. Sony was also one of the first publishers to raise the price of its premium games to $70, along with others like Activision Blizzard, Take-Two Interactive, and Electronic Arts.
More recently, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer indicated that the company “may not be able to” keep the same price for games, Xbox Game Pass and new consoles forever, but that it was important to do so at least for a while. the 2022 holidays. period.
Elsewhere in the documents, Microsoft reiterates in many ways that it has no intention of removing Call of Duty from PlayStation. Microsoft notes that it has honored previous deals, such as when it acquired Bethesda Softworks parent ZeniMax Media, which saw the release of Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo as timed PS5 console exclusives. Microsoft also noted that no Bethesda Softworks games have been pulled from the PlayStation since the acquisition was completed.
Right now, the deal has been approved by some countries like Brazil, and Microsoft currently believes it will end sometime before June 30, 2023.