Activision Blizzard Acquisition: Wouldn’t Sony Get Less Rude?

Last week, the agency Brazilian Antitrust has come forward favorably in connection with Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard for approximately $70 billion. Your opinion is non-binding (the only binding ones are those of the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union), but you still have your weight, because naturally the other bodies which fulfill the same functions are interested in knowing the point of view of their colleagues. Not that they necessarily have to express themselves in the same way, but they can certainly consider the different international approvals before expressing their opinion or making requests.

Procedures of this type have rituals that are always respected, in the first place is heard from the competitors who are in any way involved in the billing influenced by the potential execution of the agreement. For example, this week also came the news that the European antitrust invited to hear opinion of some developers before deciding. It’s true: before deciding, it is correct and sacrosanct to listen to as many voices as possible.

It is wrong to consider certain acquisitions as certain, because they are long and complex processes. If this were not the case, Microsoft would not have been obliged to produce thousands of pages of documents for each institution, providing answers and additions where necessary. She wouldn’t even have assembled a dedicated team if needed, paying lawyers and experts millions of dollars, but she would just have to hire a few commentators and they would have the situation under control. In fact, we are talking about something extremely complex, which cannot be reduced to a simple “they know what they are doing” (of course they know, but that does not mean anything) and whose result cannot be taken for granted, as it is not guaranteed. .

It is also right that those who feel threatened by the acquisition remove all doubts about the deal because it is in their right and in their interest. After all, if there is a need for approval from competition defense bodies, it is to protect all consumers, understood in the broadest sense of the reference market of the companies concerned. A monopoly would hurt everyone.

That said, seeing the president of a prestigious and powerful company like Sony makes a tough opposition it’s not a pretty sight. First there were the departures against Microsoft, thrown into the fight in the press, then the various trips to the various antitrust bodies, carelessly disclosed to everyone, including the opinions expressed. Not that Jim Ryan (we’re talking about him, of course) has to be complacent. In fact, as already mentioned, you have every right to try anything (within the law, of course) to stop the acquisition. However, he could adopt a strategy that do not further poison the environment, creating public disputes, ultimately involving the actors themselves in what is only a contrast between billionaire multinationals whose objective is the income and happiness of shareholders, certainly not that of the public. Moreover, this path gives a slightly modified idea of ​​the balance of power in the video game market.

PlayStation is the leader among companies in the traditional console market, it bears repeating, and ahead of Microsoft and Nintendo of varying lengths (read billions of dollars) in terms of annual revenue. Currently, the PS5 is the best-selling next-gen console. The brand is strong, the fan base is loyal and passionate, the company’s investments are multiplying in different directions, and success after success (think landing on PC) the future looks increasingly rosy, so why fear so much? monopoly to the point of bothering the Brazilian antitrust? “the main objective of CADE’s activity is the defense of competition as a means of promoting the well-being of Brazilian consumersand not the defense of the particular interests of specific competitors”.

Paradoxically, doing so risks having the opposite effect to that sought. First place screams at third place about monopoly….

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