PlayStation Exec Jim Ryan Reportedly Flew to Brussels to Talk to Regulators About Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Acquisition

A report claims that Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan personally visited European Union headquarters to voice PlayStation‘s concerns regarding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. EU regulators have dedicated to a thorough investigation of the Activision Blizzard acquisition and its impact on competition in the video game industry. PlayStation has been a vocal critic of Microsoft’s effort with specific regard to the Call of Duty franchise and its eventual availability on Xbox Game Pass.

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Microsoft announced that it would be acquiring Activision Blizzard in January, earlier this year, in an all-cash transaction for $68.7 billion. It’s the largest acquisition in the video game industry’s history by multiple times, with the second-largest being Take-Two’s purchase of Zynga for $12.7 million. Such a large acquisition has drawn a significant focus from international regulatory bodies questioning whether Activision Blizzard’s purchase is anticompetitive.

The report comes from Dealreporter, which claims that Jim Ryan personally flew to Brussels on September 8 in order to offer PlayStation’s perspective on the acquisition. The exact nature of his visit, who Ryan spoke to, and what he said, have not been clarified. As noted, however, PlayStation has been especially critical of Microsoft’s efforts where the UK and EU will listen. That Ryan took the time to comment personally shows just how seriously PlayStation is taking the situation, even if its priorities are somewhat biased.

It’s unclear at this point in time whether there’s a serious threat to the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard or if regulatory bodies are simply doing their due diligence. While Xbox is not the leading video game platform in the world, Microsoft is one of the largest corporations in the world. It’s within reason to ask whether such a large acquisition is anticompetitive, whether Microsoft is using its size and wealth to take control of an industry.

PlayStation’s argument, as it was made publicly to the UK recently, is that Microsoft’s acquisition of games including Call of Duty would have “major negative implications for gamers.” That’s despite promises from Microsoft that Call of Duty would remain available on PlayStation consoles years into the future, which Sony described as inadequate.

While it’s inarguable that the Call of Duty franchise, as well as all of Activision Blizzard’s games, are very lucrative for PlayStation and losing that would be significantly materially detrimental, some question whether Sony is being hypocritical. Sony has spent years making exclusivity deals with Activision Blizzard for Call of Duty content to gain an advantage over Xbox. That’s beyond the concern of regulatory bodies, however. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition will be further impeded by PlayStation‘s efforts going forward.

Source: Dealreporter (via VGC)

Source: Gamerant

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