Microsoft Fancy Dances When Activision Plays a Tune

November 29, 2022

In order to convince the European Commission it should be allowed to acquire Activision Blizzard, Microsoft is sampling some humble pie. Android Authority reports, “Microsoft Admits Xbox vs PlayStation War Is Over and It Lost.” Write Ryan McNeal tells us:

“The EU’s European Commission has announced in a press release that it has opened up an in-depth investigation into Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. This investigation was activated after the proposed deadline EU regulators set back in September when the deal was first being looked into. According to the press release, the new inquiry now has 90 working days — until March 23, 2023 — to make a decision. The Commission claims that it is concerned Microsoft’s acquisition could upset the balance in the market, causing a reduction in competition.”

Specifically, the commission suspects Microsoft might make successful PlayStation games like “Call of Duty” into Xbox-only titles. Heavens no, the company insists, it promises to make games available on both platforms simultaneously. This is all about giving the people greater access to games, a representative asserts. And here we thought it was all about creating a distraction. McNeal continues:

“Since the first time it hit a snag with European regulators, Microsoft has attempted to utilize an underdog strategy to delegitimize Sony’s arguments against the deal. In response to today’s investigation announcement, Microsoft attempted to drive that talking point home by admitting that Sony is the market leader.”

Will this self-effacing logic work? We should find out by the end of March. Nota bene: Our team thinks that the push for Activision was possibly a way to deflect attention from some interesting Microsoft security issues. Games are big money, but the issue of Teams in Microsoft 365 may be an even more sensitive issue.

Cynthia Murrell, November 29, 2022

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