December 6, 2023

Activision Blizzard Acquisition: Won’t Sony Become Less Productive?

Last week, the agency The Brazilian anti-monopoly program manifested itself Positively In connection with Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard for approximately $70 billion. Your opinion is not binding (the only binding opinions are those of the US, UK and EU), but still your weight, because it is natural that other bodies performing the same functions are interested in knowing the point of view of their colleagues. It does not necessarily mean that they have to express themselves in the same way, but they can certainly consider various international approvals before expressing their opinion or making requests.

Actions of this kind have rituals that are always respected, in 1st place hears from competitors that are in some way involved in billing that is affected by the possibility of implementing the agreement. For example, this week also came the news that European antitrust asked to hear the opinion From some developers before making a decision. That’s right: before making a decision, it is correct and sacred to listen to as many voices as possible.

It is wrong to consider some acquisitions certain, because they are Long and complex operations. If not, Microsoft would not be obligated to produce thousands of pages of documents for each organization, providing answers and supplementary materials when needed. She wouldn’t have put together a dedicated team if needed, paid millions of dollars to lawyers and experts, but just had to hire a few commentators and the situation would be under control. In fact, we are talking about something very complex, which cannot be reduced to a mere “know what they are doing” (of course they do, but it means nothing) and its results cannot be taken for granted, because it is not guaranteed.

It is also true that those who feel threatened by possession raise all doubts about the case because it is in their right and in their interest. After all, if there is a need to obtain approval from competition defense bodies, it is necessary to protect specifically all consumers, which is a concept in the broad sense of the reference market for the respective companies. Monopoly hurts everyone.

However, the vision of the president of a prestigious and powerful company like Sony makes a blunt opposition It’s not a pretty sight. First, there were departures against Microsoft, which were launched into the fray in the press, and then various trips to various antitrust bodies were revealed, casually to everyone, including the opinions expressed. Not that Jim Ryan (we’re talking about it, of course) should be satisfied. In fact, as mentioned earlier, you have every right to try to do everything (within the law, of course) to end the acquisition. However, strategy can be adopted Don’t poison the environment any more, creating public conflicts, and ultimately involving the players themselves in what is just a contradiction between multinational billionaires aiming for revenue and shareholder happiness, and certainly not the public. Moreover, this method gives a slightly modified idea of ​​the power relations in the video game market.

PlayStation is the leader among the companies in the traditional game console market, and it’s fair to repeat, It is ahead of Microsoft and Nintendo At various lengths (read billions of dollars) in terms of annual revenue. PS5 is currently the best selling gaming console of the new generation. The brand is strong, the fan base is loyal and passionate, the company’s investments are multiplying in different directions, success after success (think landing on PC) the future looks brighter and rosier, so why fear so much? Forced to risk a monopoly to an extent that disturbs the Brazilian antitrust program?: “The main objective of CADE activity is the defense of competition as a means of strengthening The well-being of Brazilian consumersNot defending the special interests of specific competitors.”

Paradoxically, in doing so, there is a risk of an effect opposite to the desired effect. 1st place screams 3rd place about monopoly…