Microsoft’s Path to Acquiring Blizzard Facing Global Roadblocks

Will a proposed merger hurt competition in the gaming industry?


Microsoft Corp. is working to convince a global gaming community that its quest to acquire Activision Blizzard for more than $68 billion will come with more benefits than drawbacks. As Evan J. Lancaster reports, “The worry is, given the notable reputation, experience, and history of Activision Blizzard and Microsoft—independent from the upcoming merger—the convergence of the respective software and technology conglomerates would create an unfair advantage in the market.”

However, Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, is optimistic about completing the merger. “For us, in gaming, we have one goal, which is to bring more games to more gamers on all platforms and provide more choice for publishers everywhere and developers everywhere,” Nadella said in Bloomberg in a September 22 interview. “So everything that we’re doing with our content with our cloud and the community, it’s really about driving that choice and that opportunity. And so we feel very confident.”

As might be expected, others are not so sanguine. The Competition and Markets Authority, a department of the U.K. government aimed at strengthening business competition and preventing and reducing anti-competitive activities, is looking into the proposed merger and at one point in an early background report notes that the proposed merger may give rise to a “realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition (SLC) in gaming consoles, multi-game subscription services, and cloud gaming services.”

Click here for Lancaster’s full report on this developing story. —VV editors


– • –

NOTE: The advertising disclaimer below does not apply to this article, nor any originating from the Village Voice editorial department, which does not accept paid links.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting the Village Voice and our advertisers.