Now neither scenario is ideal but the alternative question is now Ms has started the ball rolling why spend even more billions on one or two companies that you don't really want, only to have things snowball, when you can go a more cost effect route by targeting your resources across a broader number publishers/studios using a range of strategies to secure a larger number titles, especially when you don't know what and where MS may be targeting.
Honestly, it's becoming difficult to tell what is more cost-effective than what in the current state of affairs. If MS and the new giants are serious about this and we hear of a couple more Zenimax-tier acqusitions, Sony is probably going to step up their game and take financial risks because "not taking risks" may be a huge risk in and of itself. And I guess people shouldn't complain because apparently all types of acqusitions are equal and they're better for the consumer than paid deals lol.
Let's hope the majority of reputable studios acquired won't soon get closed or downgraded following the inevitable cases of failure from their new parent companies.