The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has initiated the second phase of its investigation into the potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. While the results of the first phase are yet to be posted, the organisation has taken to its website to detail the upcoming phases of the investigation, and when statements will be issued.
According to the details posted, phase two entails gathering ‘more evidence from the merging businesses and others to investigate potential issues with competition that could arise as a result of the merger.’ As part of this phase, the CMA ‘[invites] anyone, including members of the public, to share their views’ in an effort to set out a ‘theory of harm’ – the potential concerns of the merger.
Yes, that means the floodgates are now open for any keen gaming fans – or anyone with concerns – to provide compelling evidence and statements to the CMA. As with any public submissions process, it’s likely these answers will be strongly vetted – but it’s still unlikely the CMA is aware of just what they’re asking.
It was a public submissions process that suggested the iconic and terrible boat name, Boaty McBoatface. It was a public submissions process that saw BTS fans protecting the rights of Black Lives Matter protesters by flooding a police snitching system with fancams and memes. It was also this process that allowed a Dan Andrews parody remix to hit The Hottest 100 music tracks in Australia.
Where public submissions are open, memes and hilarity generally follow. Given the audience base who will be aware of the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard investigation will largely be folks who spend time online – it feels like a recipe for disaster.
That said, if you do have an informed opinion with weight, you’re encouraged to email the CMA directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The organisation is specifically looking for anyone with an opinion or knowledge on:
- Activision games on Xbox and other consoles
- The potential of Microsoft making Activision games ‘lower quality’ on other consoles
- Microsoft potentially making Activision games more expensive overall
- How Xbox Game Pass will change beyond the merger
- How the merger will impact the future of cloud gaming