This Wednesday (5), the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) approved, without restrictions, the purchase of Activision Blizzard for the Microsoft. Announced in January, the deal may have been one of the biggest in the history of the games industry: around $70 billion. For the agency, the decision was made based on “the protection of competition as a means of promoting the well-being of the Brazilian consumer”.
One of the most questioned points of this business is a possible threat to competition, a question expressed mainly by Sony. However, CADE understands that if Activision Blizzard games leave Japan’s consoles, PS users can “migrate to Xbox, or even a PC” and continue playing.
Still in the decisionthe Brazilian authority says that, if the next titles in the franchise become exclusive to Microsoft, players will be able to “abandon the series, migrating their demand to other games available on their favorite console.”
CADE also noted that the Redmond giant may deem “profitable to adopt an exclusivity strategy on Activision Blizzard games”, even if it results in “a sacrifice of a relevant part of sales, users and even popularity” of the franchise. .
CoD exclusivity will not affect competition, says CADE
CADE considers that a possible exclusivity of Call of Duty will not harm competition. For the agency, Nintendo, for example, “does not depend on […] any Activision Blizzard content to compete in the marketplace,” so the deal will not significantly affect its business.
Sony should not be harmed either, the ruling reads. Although the contents of the holding company are very important to the Japanese company, it is the “leader of the console market” and the titles do not represent an “essential input” to the company’s business.
Not to mention that, despite Call of Duty As an important franchise for Sony, PlayStation remains the leader in the console market, has the largest installed base and a “robust catalog of exclusive games”.
For CADE, given the strong position of PS in the market, as well as its loyal consumers and partnerships with “publishers third-party” are justifications for the Japanese “to contribute to maintaining the competitiveness of PlayStation” even if CoD is removed altogether.
Despite all the observations, the autarchy states that the main objective of its action “is to protect the competition as a means of promoting the well-being of the Brazilian consumer, and not the defense of private interests of specific competitors.”
Brazil is the second country to approve the purchase
Brazil, it is worth mentioning, is the second country that approves the deal — the first was Saudi Arabia, which also did not present restrictions on the purchase.
Now, the business is being analyzed by other countries. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have some concerns about it and should comment next month.
The European Union and the United Kingdom are also closely investigating the deal. In fact, the British regulatory body has set a deadline of March 1, 2023 to make its decision.
With information: VGC