The head of Xbox Phil Spencer stated that the scrutiny around Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is "fair" and "warranted" adding that he is confident the deal will be approved in different markets.
The global competition regulators are currently scrutinizing the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. While a minority of them already approved the deal, some regulators are still having deep investigations.
The European competition watchdog, for instance, set November 8 as a provisional deadline when it will release its ruling regarding whether the merger would significantly reduce competition in the market. In addition, the US Federal Trade Commission, which has been investigating the proposed acquisition for quite some time now, is expected to announce its decision by later November.
Meanwhile, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority extended its investigation into the more "in-depth" second phase and set a deadline of March 1, 2023 to publish its final report and decision on the deal.
In an interview given during The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference (via VGC), CEO of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer commented on the scrutiny around Microsoft and Activision deal saying that he believes the investigations global regulators are now conducting are "fair" and "warranted".
"I would say the discussions have been very fair and honest," the Xbox head said. "It is a big acquisition, there’s no doubt. Microsoft in its role in the tech industry, is a large tech company, and I do think the discussion around an acquisition of this size is warranted, and I’ve appreciated the time to go spend."
Competition watchdogs, especially, the CMA, mostly focus on console gaming expressing their concern that Microsoft could make Call of Duty exclusive to its platform which would hurt competition in the market. However, speaking to the WSJ, the Xbox boss claimed that the addition of Activision Blizzard would mostly help Microsoft to facilitate its growth in the mobile place.
"Most of the dialogue that’s out there has been around consoles, and how Xbox and PlayStation consoles compete with each other. But when we think about three billion people playing video games, there’s only about 200 million households that play on console. The vast majority of people who play, do so on the device that’s already in their pocket, which is their phone," Spencer said.
In addition, he noted that Call of Duty Mobile is "more interesting" for the company than how the proposed acquisition would affect the competition between Xbox and PlayStation and reiterated that Microsoft has no plans to stop shipping Call of Duty games on Sony's consoles.
He explained that the company doesn't have intentions to "bait and switch somebody where they’ve got to play in the cloud" or remove the Call of Duty series from PlayStation consoles in "two or three years" adding that Microsoft plans to "continue to ship Call of Duty on PlayStation as long as that makes sense."
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