Microsoft has filed its appeal to the UK's CMA over the Activision Blizzard acquisition


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May 16, 2023
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Too much attention is being paid to the XBOX (and cloud speculation) side of the deal and virtually none to the two more important drivers for the deal:

- First of all, Activision has been in recent times a poorly run company. Not just in the allegations of the work environment but rather on the business side, where their treasure trove of IPs and staff creativity has been neglected of CALL OF DUTY. MS has already indicated they intend to mine those fallow IPs of which over a dozen have been identified by the gamer community. It isn't just ABK shareholders who stand to benefit but also the staff, who can't help but notice the creative boost OBSIDIAN received under MS. Never mind AVOWED, look to GROUNDED and PENTIMENT; would either have come to market before MS?

2- Second, Microsoft's biggest gain is going to come from the mobile space. Not just from the KING catalog, but from the leverage they can apply with it. (The proposed XBOX mobile app store is a big part.) Also, the IPs themselves could move to other platforms, notably SMART TVS, starting with the Android related ones. While Sony frets over their 100M consoles and CMA over whatever fraction on GamePass resides in the UK, MS is looking at the billions of phones and TVs. Even a small slice is worth more than Sony itself. And Activision has been doing precious little to move there.

Microsoft's stake in this goes far beyond the $7-9B annual revenues ABK brings in these days so they'll get the deal done, UK or no UK.
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