Microsoft CEO Doesn’t See Activision Blizzard Acquisition Being Blocked

Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, has said that he doesn’t believe Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard will be blocked by the US Federal Trade Commission.

Talking to the Financial Times, Nadella said that the deal would only place Microsoft as the third largest player in the video games industry, and the fragmentation of the market would prevent them from gaining a monopoly.

Microsoft Acquires Activision Blizzard: The Story So Far

“At the end of the day, all the analysis here has to be done through a lens of what’s the category we’re talking about, and what about the market structure?” said Nadella. “Even post-this acquisition, we will be number three with sort of low teens [market] share, where even the highest player is also [in the] teens [for market] share. It shows how fragmented content creation platforms are. And so, that’s the fundamental category. Yes, we will be a big player in what is a highly fragmented place.”

Should the deal go ahead, Microsoft will still be behind Sony and Tencent in terms of industry size.

Nadella also noted that distribution is an important factor to consider, and that Microsoft is currently not even the biggest games provider on its own operating system. “Also, the analysis will have to extend to say: Why are these content companies trying to become bigger? It’s because the place where the constraints really are is distribution. The only open distribution platform for any gaming content — guess what? — is Windows . . . the biggest store on Windows is Steam. It’s not ours. People can do any payment instrument, whereas all the other gaming distribution platforms are closed.”

Activision Blizzard Deal Compared to Other Major Acquisitions

The Microsoft/Activision Blizzard buyout will be investigated by the FTC, which reportedly has concerns around Big Tech companies such as Microsoft. The US commission has recently sued to block two major tech takeovers: Nvidia’s purchase of Arm, and Lockheed Martin’s takeover of rocket engine manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings.

For more on the deal, check out our full breakdown.

Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.

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