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Microsoft’s £60bn takeover of Call of Duty-maker in the firing line

Microsoft’s £60bn takeover of Call of Duty video game-maker Activision Blizzard in the firing line as watchdog claims it ‘could harm gamers’

The £60billion takeover of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is in doubt after regulators said that it ‘could harm gamers’.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the deal could result in higher prices, less choice or less innovation in the video game industry.

Microsoft makes Xbox video game consoles and has been locked in a battle for supremacy with Japanese giant Sony, which makes the Playstation.

Battleground: The Competition and Markets Authority fears an Activision Blizzard takeover by Microsoft will hit competition

The CMA said Call Of Duty drives competition between the two.

Microsoft could be tempted to restrict access to the franchise for Playstation users as it has with other games, the watchdog added, saying it may have to offload the Call Of Duty or World of Warcraft franchises or face having the takeover blocked.

The regulator invited the firms to propose solutions to address its concerns.

Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick said blocking the deal would see a ‘fragile’ UK Government miss a post-Brexit chance to create up to 5,000 jobs.

‘The CMA is not really using independent thought, or thinking about how this would positively impact the UK,’ he told the Financial Times.

Microsoft deputy general counsel Rima Alaily promised it would guarantee Call Of Duty access to rivals for a decade.


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