“Let us have competition”
Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard is still under scrutiny. But in a new interview with Bloomberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expresses confidence in the Activision Blizzard deal getting approved.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority is investigating the deal. After an initial phase, the regulator has opted to conduct a more in-depth “phase 2” investigation. The CMA is looking into whether the deal will have a realistic prospect of substantially lessening competition in gaming.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Microsoft CEO Nadella says he’s confident the company will gain regulatory approval for the $69 billion acquisition.
“Of course, any acquisition of this size will go through scrutiny, but we feel very, very confident that we’ll come out,” said Nadella.
The CEO also points to Sony, which has made a number of acquisitions itself. “So if this is about competition, let us have competition,” Nadella says.
Tensions have been rising around the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal. The potential merger has been under scrutiny since it was announced earlier this year, but recently, both Xbox and PlayStation have been addressing it a bit more candidly.
Reports circled that Microsoft had committed to keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation for “several more years” beyond the existing deal. In a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan said the offer was “inadequate on many levels”.
Sony has indeed been picking up several studios. The PlayStation manufacturer has brought on Returnal developer Housemarque, Demon’s Souls remake creator Bluepoint, and Destiny studio Bungie to name a few.
The size and scope of the ABK deal for Microsoft is massive, though. The latter expects the deal to close in fiscal year 2023.