Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is confident that regulators will approve the company’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Speaking to Bloomberg, Nadella said it’s understandable that an acquisition of this size, the largest ever by Microsoft and one of the largest ever in the tech space, “would come under scrutiny.” That said, Nadella said that Microsoft is “very, very confident that we will come out.”
The executive went on to point out that Microsoft is not the biggest player in gaming; he estimated that Microsoft is the number 4 or 5 player in the space, with Sony in first place. “So if it’s about competition, let’s have competition,” Nadella said.
Nadella’s comments came after the UK Competition and Markets Authority launched a more extensive investigation into the purchase. The CMA said it is “concerned” that Microsoft’s proposal to buy Activision Blizzard could “substantially lessen competition” for sales of game consoles, subscription services and cloud gaming networks.
A Sony spokesman said it “welcomes the announcement” of increased scrutiny by the UK government of the Microsoft deal. If Microsoft were allowed to buy Activision Blizzard, the deal would have “significant negative implications for gamers and the future of the gaming industry,” Sony said.
Much discussion and debate surrounding Microsoft’s proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard has focused on Activision’s Call of Duty series. Microsoft has promised to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for years to come, but Sony says Microsoft’s proposals aren’t good enough.
Outside of the console space, mobile is the largest and fastest growing gaming segment, which is part of why Microsoft is pushing so hard to buy Activision Blizzard and acquire its Candy Crush division.
“To reach billions of gamers wherever they are and no matter what device they play on, we must embrace choice. Giving gamers choice in how they play their games makes games more accessible and leads to larger communities of gamers.” big and vibrant. said Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming. “Choice is equally important for developers. Developers benefit from having a diversity of distribution and business models for their games. Choice opens up opportunities for innovation and allows the industry to grow.”
So far, some seven months after Microsoft announced its proposal to buy Activision Blizzard, only Saudi Arabia has approved the deal. New Zealand’s decision expires on November 11.
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