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The proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of the Call of Duty publisher would be the games industry’s biggest-ever deal, comfortably surpassing the record $12.7 billion Take-Two and Zynga merger completed earlier this year.
And the deal is currently being scrutinised by regulators concerned about antitrust issues during a time of increasing consolidation in the gaming industry.
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“Of course, any acquisition of this size will go through scrutiny, but we feel very, very confident that we’ll come out,” Nadella told Bloomberg.
Last week the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority said its inquiry into the deal had officially been expanded to a second phase due to a number of antitrust concerns.
Notably, the watchdog is worried about the impact the deal could have on PlayStation’s ability to compete, given that the deal would see Microsoft gain ownership of the Call of Duty series.
Nadella told Bloomberg Microsoft is either the fourth of fifth biggest player in the video game industry, and that PlayStation maker Sony is the largest. “So if this is about competition, let us have competition,” he said.
Earlier this month, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said Microsoft had committed to making Call of Duty available on PlayStation for “several more years” after Sony’s current marketing deal with Activision expires.
During this period, Call of Duty games released for PlayStation would have “feature and content parity”, Spencer said.
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan, who is reportedly seeking access to future Call of Duty games on equal terms and in perpetuity, responded by calling Microsoft’s proposal for keeping the series on PlayStation consoles “inadequate on many levels”.
The current Call of Duty deal between Sony and Activision is believed to cover this year’s Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2, and a new game from Black Ops developer Treyarch, which may not arrive until 2024.