The acquisition of Activision-Blizzard has just been approved for a second time. The Brazilian competition authorities have tackled PlayStation in passing.
Currently under review by regulators around the world, the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft is strongly criticized by the competition. Sony is obviously ready to do anything to prevent Call of Duty from arriving at Xbox. However, this acquisition has just been approved in a new country, which dismantles in passing several arguments of PlayStation.
Xbox takeover of Activision Blizzard approved again
After Saudi Arabia, the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard has been validated in Brazil. CADE, responsible for monitoring competition in the country, has just given the green light to this historic acquisition. In its conclusions, the regulator undermines several arguments put forward by Sony, in particular its fears around the exclusivity of Call of Duty.
The possibility cannot be excluded that Microsoft considers it potentially profitable to adopt an exclusivity strategy on Activision Blizzard games, even if a decision in this direction could result in the sacrifice of a significant part of sales, users and even the popularity of Call of Duty.
PlayStation can survive without Call of Duty
CADE therefore recognizes some concerns around the Call of Duty franchise. According to her, however, this would not necessarily make sense financially speaking in the short term. However, the Brazilian regulator believes that Xbox exclusivity is not a threat to PlayStation. He argues that Activision-Blizzard’s licenses are not essential to establish its authority on the market. Nintendo would be the perfect example.
Nintendo does not currently rely on any content from Activision Blizzard to compete in the marketplace. Sony, for its part, has several assets: strength of the world’s leading brand for more than 20 years, extensive experience in the sector, larger user base, larger installed base of consoles, solid catalog of exclusive games, partnerships with multiple publishers, consumers loyal to the brand, etc. They should help maintain the competitiveness of PlayStation in a possible post-operation scenario, even in the face of a possible loss of access to Activision Blizzard content.
In other words, CADE believes that the takeover of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft will not particularly lead to a fall of PlayStation, already well established and armed to face its rival. The authority mainly concludes its report with a tackle against the Japanese publisher. It recalls that its role is to protect the interests of consumers and not those of Xbox’s competitors. For her, the acquisition presents no problem for users in the future, debate is closed on her side. Jim Ryan, boss of PlayStation, would have asked for help from Europe by making the trip directly to Brussels.