Xbox shook the gaming industry at the start of 2022 by revealing its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for almost $70 billion. Ten months later and that deal has still not been approved by a number of governing bodies, including the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which now wants to hear from the public.
The CMA published its Issues Statement last week, detailing why it's worried about the potential Xbox/Activision Blizzard merger and its reasons for continuing to investigate the deal. The next stage of that process is asking for public opinion, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz. Anyone who has an opinion on what the deal might mean for the industry can share it now through the government's website.
While it will read some, the CMA has admitted it expects so many opinions to be submitted that it's unlikely it will be able to read and dissect all of them. As for what the governing body is worried about regarding the merger, it has listed Xbox making Activision games console exclusives and raising the prices of Activision titles on other platforms, among other reasons.
Xbox has responded to the CMA's concerns, labeling Sony's fears about Call of Duty one day becoming an Xbox exclusive as “not credible”. It also pointed out that it can't add Call of Duty to Game Pass “for a number of years” even if it wanted to. An ongoing deal between Activision and Sony that won't come to an end for years means Call of Duty can't be on Game Pass and can't be an Xbox exclusive either.
The Activision Blizzard deal has been approved in Brazil and Saudi Arabia, but it's going to be a while before it's given the go-ahead in the UK, if at all. The next step will be publishing its provisional findings before the CMA submits its final decision. Activision Blizzard also continues to face repercussions following allegations made about its workplace culture. A fresh sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against the studio earlier this month.
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