This week the CMA gave its verdict with which it blocked the agreement between Activision Blizzard King and Microsoft and today we can see that the regulatory body used one of the supposed benefits that Microsoft assured that the purchase would bring to Game Pass users to block it. .
The UK Competition and Authorities Commission (CMA) defended its verdict and also published an extensive document of more than 400 pages in which it explains in detail the reasons why it did not give the green light to the deal.
Microsoft mentioned confessed that one of its plans was, if the purchase of Activision was approved, to bring Activision games to its Xbox Game Pass subscription service (console and PC) on opening day, which is why banning it would not make sense, since it would be a relevant consumer benefit (RCB), unless you wanted to block these benefits for users.
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The CMA believes that Xbox Game Pass would be more expensive if the purchase of Activision is finalized
Well, curiously this information was not in favor of Microsoft, but the CMA used it to block the deal.
Because? The CMA considers that this benefit would be “limited” and believes that Activision games being available on Xbox Game Pass would represent a new way to pay for content that is already available to buy on Xbox and “would only represent better value than status quo for some consumers”.
The most interesting thing is that the CMA hopes that the purchase of Activision and the arrival of its games on Xbox Game Pass will be enough “reason to increase the price of Game Pass” to offset the value that Activision games will add to the service and, as a consequence, the value it would give to users would immediately be taken away from them.
“(…) and we found that even the most modest price increase would significantly reduce or eliminate any potential RCB,” the agency determined.
In case you missed it: Microsoft’s president criticized the UK minister for blocking his purchase and he refuted his arguments.
Activision games on Xbox Game Pass would hurt the competition
the CMA; however, he acknowledged that bringing Activision content to Xbox Game Pass is an “attractive scenario” and identified it as one of the reasons many users support the purchase.
However, the agency found that having this new way to get Activision games “will not offset the overall damage to competition (and ultimately consumers) that would arise from this merger in the gaming services market in Cloud”.
So far it is known that Microsoft will appeal the CMA’s decision, but we do not know what their arguments or evidence will be to make the agency change its mind, apart from the fact that the process will be long before knowing a resolution.
What do you think of the CMA findings? Tell us in the comments.
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