Will Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard face antitrust scrutiny?

One of the biggest stories of this week is Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. As many people know Activision Blizzard is one of the most popular third-party video game developers of the past decade. Activision has been the creator of some of the most popular adult themed video game franchises ever included Call Of Duty, Diablo, Warcraft and Overwatch, StarCraft and others. There are many people who believe that Microsoft’s latest business move is going to be highly detrimental to its competitors within the gaming world. But the truth is Microsoft’s latest move is more detrimental to gamers around the world who enjoyed playing third-party video games like Call Of Duty of Sony consoles such as the PS4 & PS5. However, if you look at the best selling video games for the PS4 during the console’s lifespan thus far; the best selling video games on the PS4 has mainly been first party titles published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. There were games like God Of War & Marvel’s Spider Man from 2018 that made Sony the most revenue in relation to actual video games. Also, Nintendo has always relied heavily on its first party video games for profit and majority of the best selling Switch games were developed and published by them.

Microsoft’s latest purchase of Activision Blizzard is unlikely to have a detrimental affect on the overall success or revenue earned by Sony or Nintendo. However, Microsoft’s latest acquisition could definitely be harmful to Google considering the fact that the Stadia subscription service mainly relies on third-party video game developers. In this case Microsoft could possibly be subjected to violating antitrust laws that promote fair competition between businesses while trying to prevent to formation of illegal monopolies. Its no secret that the Biden administration has made it a priority to target big corporations that engage in unlawful business practices involving monopolies. In fact, Microsoft Corporation is no stranger to facing scrutiny from the United States in relation to 1890 Sherman Act. Almost everyone is aware of the court case between United Sates & Microsoft Corporation from 2001. The result of Microsoft vs United States lead to Microsoft diving into two separate entities because of its violation of the Sherman Act. However, in this case regarding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard; there is no solid evidence that the purchase will end up becoming detrimental to either Sony or Nintendo. Activision Blizzard is not necessarily a competitor of Microsoft and was a third-party video game developer; that had no loyalty to any major technology corporation up until now. Also, when it comes down to third-party developers the Google Stadia still have plenty of options including 2K Games, Electronic Arts, Bandi Namco, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment, etc. Its very unlikely that Microsoft is going to purchase every major third-party game developer in America.

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