Microsoft’s planned deal to acquire Activision Blizzard has received uproarious support from public submissions made to the UK Competition and Markets Authority, per a new report revealed today. According to the CMA, the vast majority of emails received during the public submission process were wildly enthusiastic about the merger, with 75% of roughly 2,600 emails expressing positive sentiment.
500 had to be excluded as they either contained ‘abusive content’, or identified themselves as non-UK customers. The remaining responses were considered by the CMA, with arguments summarised and shared within the publicly released merger issues statement.
According to the CMA, the majority of public arguments focussed on the merger’s potential to increase welcome competitiveness in the industry.
It was also surfaced that Microsoft had previously promised not to make content exclusive to Xbox platforms as it would lose revenue from this decision – and that this should be heavily considered.
The recent troubles of Activision Blizzard were also brought up, with public submissions arguing that Microsoft could provide a guiding hand for the embattled company, which has faced years of public allegations and lawsuits around its treatment of employees.
Far fewer people were against the merger, but had similarly strong arguments. Those not in favour claimed the merger would lead to an unwelcome consolidation of the industry, and set a harmful precedent going forward. There were also doubts about Microsoft’s commitment to non-exclusivity for games, and concerns about the dominant power of Xbox Game Pass.
As it stands, the UK Competition and Markets Authority has yet to pass official judgement on the merger – although it’s likely this public support will provide a touchpoint for internal arguments for and against Microsoft’s plans.
The CMA is expected to release its final report on the acquisition by 1 March 2023, at which point the deal will either stall, or Microsoft will be allowed to proceed, and go on to face the judgement of the FTC and other global anti-competitive bodies.