In a post on the official UK Government website explaining the second phase of its investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated that everyone will now be able to give their opinion on whether the deal should go ahead.
The CMA recently published its Issues Statement, listing its ‘theories of harm’ – the issues it believes are potential concerns. According to its process, once the Issues Statement is published the next step is to open the issue up to the public.
“At this point we invite anyone, including members of the public, to share their views with us,” it states.
According to the CMA, the ‘issues of harm’ it’s investigating include:
- The impact of the merger on other console gaming platforms, including:
- The impact of the merger on multi-game subscriptions that rival Game Pass
- The impact of the merger on the future of cloud gaming
The public can submit their views and evidence regarding the issue now, though the CMA says it may not be able to acknowledge and respond to every submission due to the anticipated volume of submissions.
After analysing the evidence, the CMA will then give its provisional findings (and possible solutions if there are issues). It plans to publish these in January, at which point it will again invite the public to share their views.
As previously stated, it then aims to publish its final report on March 1.
“If we find no competition concerns, the deal can go ahead as planned,” the CMA explains. “If we do find competition concerns, we decide how these should be remedied. For example, this can include selling part of the business or prohibiting the merger altogether.”
Last week Microsoft criticised the CMA’s decision to expand its inquiry, calling the regulator’s concerns “misplaced” and claiming that it “adopts Sony’s complaints without the appropriate level of critical review”.