Sony has reacted to the report that Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is the subject of an extensive investigation by the UK regulatory watchdog.
Due to several antitrust issues, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced on Thursday that its investigation into the $68.7 billion takeover has been effectively expanded to a second phase.
Given that Microsoft would acquire control of the Call of Duty franchise as part of the acquisition, the CMA is particularly concerned about the impact the deal would have on PlayStation’s capacity to compete.
In a statement given to GamesIndustry.biz, Sony expressed its satisfaction with the CMA’s decision to broaden its investigation.
By giving Microsoft control of Activision games like Call of Duty, this deal would have major negative implications for gamers and the future of the gaming industry.
We want to guarantee PlayStation gamers continue to have the highest quality gaming experience, and we appreciate the CMA’s focus on protecting gamers.”
After Sony’s existing marketing agreement with Activision expires, Xbox boss Phil Spencer stated earlier this month that Microsoft had promised to continue making Call of Duty available on PlayStation for “many more years.”
Furthermore the recently announced Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 has its beta testing ‘exclusive’ to PlayStation which shows that Microsoft is committing to maintain the competitive balance of the gaming industry.
Such statements from Sony does raise multiple questions regarding the company’s approach towards the deal. Being the trendsetter for exclusive games Sony believes that the deal would lead to compromise in the firm’s ability to maintain their exclusivity. However the decision from Microsoft to release Modern Warfare 2 beta on PlayStation first negate their perspective.
The Activision deal has clearly surrounded a lot of controversies following regulatory authorities speeding up their investigations. It is interesting to see how things fold out judging by Sony’s “hypocrisy” towards the deal