The UK Competition and Markets Authority is currently conducting a "Phase 2" investigation into Microsoft's attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and you may remember that a couple of months ago, the authority also began asking the general public for their views on the takeover.
Well, those results are now in, and the CMA has found that around 75% of the feedback has been in favour of the acquisition going ahead. Lots of different types of views have been expressed, pointing out all the reasons why the deal would be beneficial for the games industry.
Here are a few examples:
"(b) the Merger will not harm rival consoles because Microsoft has made public and private commitments to keep Activision content, including Call of Duty, non-exclusive. The availability of Minecraft on rival consoles shows that Microsoft’s commercial strategy is not to make games exclusive."
"(e) the Merger will push Sony to innovate, such as by improving its subscription service or creating more games to compete with Call of Duty."
"(g) Microsoft’s plans to add Call of Duty to Game Pass are pro-competitive and will lower the price of accessing games for consumers."
"(I) the Merger is pro-competitive in the mobile segment because it will create new options for mobile gamers and allow Microsoft to compete against Google and Apple, which are the two dominant mobile platforms."
As for the negative feedback, some have suggested that Microsoft would be able to deteriorate the quality of Call of Duty on PlayStation in the future, the acquisition could raise barriers to entry for indie developers, and it could also "set a harmful precedent in the gaming industry of acquiring large publishers rather than encouraging organic growth".
Even though the majority of feedback here is on Microsoft's side, the authority has advised that its publication of this summary "does not in any way represent an endorsement by the CMA of these views". In other words, this public feedback will definitely be taken into account by the CMA, but it's also not a final verdict of any kind.
In fact, it looks like we could still be waiting until around late February before the UK authority finally reaches an official decision on its Phase 2 investigation, so we'll have to sit tight for another few weeks yet.