Nvidia and Google have come out against Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, expressing concerns that the deal could give Microsoft an unfair advantage in cloud gaming, subscription-based gaming services, and mobile gaming. This opposition adds to the concerns of the FTC, which has filed a lawsuit to stop the deal on the grounds that Microsoft will use ownership of Activision Blizzard to harm competition in multiple gaming markets.
Nvidia and Google’s concerns center around the fact that Microsoft would become the owner of some of the most popular gaming franchises in the world, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush. This would give Microsoft a significant advantage in the gaming market, as they would be able to use these franchises to drive users to their own platforms and services.
Furthermore, Microsoft already owns one of the largest gaming platforms in the world, Xbox, and has a growing subscription gaming service in Xbox Game Pass. With the addition of Activision Blizzard’s franchises, Microsoft would be in a position to dominate the gaming market.
Google is particularly worried about the impact that this deal could have on its own gaming plans. The company is reportedly working on a cloud gaming service that would allow users to stream games from its servers. If Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard, it could use its franchises to drive users to Xbox Game Pass and away from Google’s service.
These concerns are likely to be taken into consideration by the FTC as it reviews the proposed deal. It remains to be seen whether they will be enough to stop the deal from going through. The companies both submitted comments to the FTC, saying that the deal could give Microsoft an unfair advantage in cloud gaming, subscription-based gaming services, and mobile gaming.
This is just the latest development in the ongoing saga of Microsoft’s attempt to buy out Activision Blizzard. The deal was first announced in October of 2020, and has been facing regulatory hurdles ever since. The FTC’s lawsuit, filed in December of 2020, alleges that Microsoft will use ownership of Activision Blizzard “to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets.”
Nvidia and Google’s concerns echo those of the FTC, and make it unlikely that the deal will be approved in its current form. It remains to be seen what will happen next, but it’s clear that Microsoft will have to make some major concessions if it wants to get this deal done.