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IcaroRibeiro said:

Money hating is okay, doesn't bother be. The developers and publishers still an independent company and can choose whatever they want. They will be the ones making the profits too, so they kinda balance the power in the market 

Buying out other companies however is predatory. I wish regulators were more rigorous when blocking this kind of acquisitions. Microsoft has enough studios already, Zenimax acquisition already granted them many big titles. They shouldn't be able to buy another big publisher. 

Moneyhatting harms consumers as well though which seems to be the crutch of some of your arguments below.

I'd also argue that in some cases, moneyhatting is designed more towards harming your competition than even acquisitions, at least an acquisition is funnelling more money into the overall business and growing it, you also take on the responsibility of funding and managing that company.

Lets use a moneyhatting example of Final Fantasy, everyone mocks that it doesn't need to be multiplatform because nobody on Xbox would buy it anyway, the vast majority of sales happen on PlayStation, so Sony should have no worries right? Why do they bother to moneyhat it? If it is such a dead IP on Xbox then I don't see how Sony having it exclusive will push console sales much.

Likewise, a developer and/or publisher can choose to sell their title to the highest bidder in the form of a "moneyhat" but a company can also choose to sell as well if they want to, that is their right. Lets use Zenimax for example, they were a private company, owned by Robert Altman and he wanted to sell his company, he wasn't forced, Microsoft didn't hostile takeover anything, there was nothing predatory about it.

If we start blocking people from being able to sell their companies no matter the laws or market then you'll kill the a large part of the start-up industry which is full of people creating companies for the express purpose of building them up into something and selling them later down the line.

Also a public company still has a legal responsibility to its shareholders so they can't entirely "choose whatever they want". The reason these mass layoffs as an example happen is because shareholders demand constant growth and a company has a responsibility to them to ensure that.

IcaroRibeiro said:

As a consumer the only thing that benefits me is those companies to keep independent. Hardware manufacturing is already a monopoly, soon software production will be as well. Both Sony and Nintendo were able to get enough quality in house games that convince people their platform is superior. MS has a much better third party support than Nintendo and have pretty much all big Sony titles except few JRPGs that don't even sell 5million copies on Playstation. Yet, MS hardware sales are sub-par, disproportionately low compared to both Sony and Nintendo considering the amount of third parties secured for them. 

Microsoft buying third parties will lead to not only less diversification and less competition but also mediocre gaming output. I can't fathom how one of the biggest worlds companies were unable to release a single eventful game in over a decade. It's truly mesmerizing if you think about it 

  • As an Xbox consumer, Activision-Blizzard deal going through can benefit you.
  • As a Nintendo consumer, Activision-Blizzard deal going through can benefit you.
  • As a Nvidia GeForce Now, Ubitus or Boosteroid consumer, Activision-Blizzard deal going through can benefit you.

As a PlayStation consumer, the deal going through likely doesn't benefit you*

*Unless you only care about Call of Duty.

But you can thank Sony for focusing this entire investigation solely around CoD and nothing else so it's a bit too late now for them to start pretending to care about other Activision-Blizzard IPs. Nevertheless, I'm fairly sure regulators have taken those into account.

Disagree that hardware manufacturing is a monopoly unless you co-opt the definition from the FTC that Nintendo isn't in the market, even in that case, it would be a duopoly between Microsoft/Sony and a monopoly from Nintendo.

Software production is absolutely nowhere near to becoming a monopoly in the videogame industry.

Disagree that buying Activision-Blizzard will lead to less competition, it will increase Microsoft's competition towards Sony and that in turn will make Sony step up even more as well. It will also help give a leg-up to multiple Cloud providers for 10 years. 

Mediocre output is speculation without much to back it up and I can think of multiple great titles that Microsoft have released "in over a decade"

IcaroRibeiro said:

...or regulators could just block such acquitions and keep all big publishers independent. It's their job actually

It actually isn't their job to block every "big" acquisition no matter what it is, I don't even know what the threshold for "big" would even be and nobody has defined that nor would regulators agree worldwide what it would be.

These investigations are actually a lot deeper than you give them credit for, blocking cause "big" isn't deep at all.

Lets use the CMA as an example. Their investigation has to determine that there would be an SLC in order to block an acquisition. An SLC is a "Substantial Lessening of Competition" The important thing here is "Substantial".

They screwed up their maths in their first run-through but upon correction of the maths, the Console SLC was removed and CMA found that.

  • Microsoft does not have the financial incentive to remove Call of Duty from PlayStation. *1
  • There would not be an SLC in Console towards PlayStation. *2
  • 75% of consumers polled by the CMA approved of the deal.
  • The majority of the gaming industry approves of the deal. *3

*1 - They found that Microsoft would lose a huge amount in making Call of Duty exclusive.
*2 - They found that in the event of Call of Duty becoming exclusive, only 3% of PlayStation users would switch to Xbox (buy Xbox as their next console).
*3 - This includes developers and publishers, it also includes Microsoft's rivals such as Tencent, GeForce Now and Valve. Nintendo seems to not care.

All that being said, both CMA and (reportedly) the EC have found that there would not be an SLC in Consoles towards PlayStation and as for USA, there are zero laws which this acquisition infringed upon; monopoly or antitrust.

You can also add on that Unions across the world support the deal who represent tens of thousands of employees and Activision-Blizzard employees largely appear to be cautiously optimistic about the deal. However, it unfortunately isn't really in regulators responsibility to look at the concerns of employees but the effect on competition and consumers.

They've determined the effect on competition and consumers to be too low for a Console SLC.

There still remains a Cloud SLC which is a concern for both CMA and EC. Microsoft has a market lead in Cloud alongside GeForce Now and thus regulators need to ensure that Activision-Blizzard under Microsoft still gives weaker entries into the market such as Ubitus/Boosteroid or new entries into the market a fair chance to compete, for the good of consumers.

The EC, CADE and even CMA have done a hell of a lot better job at investigating the market than the FTC has and that is because those guys haven't rushed a block simply because the acquisition is "big" like the FTC have.

Last edited by Ryuu96 - on 30 March 2023