Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer speaking to the publication The times commented on the difficulties in closing a deal to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion.
When asked by journalist The Times what Xbox expects if regulators block such an important transaction for the American platform owner, Spencer replied as follows.
“This is (Activision Blizzard – approx.) an important acquisition for us, but not a cornerstone in the long term – Xbox will continue to exist even if this deal does not go through.”Spencer assured.
Contrary to Spencer’s words, reports Video Games Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Andy Robinson “many industry experts” believe it’s entirely possible for Microsoft to sell the Xbox if the deal with Activision Blizzard falls through.
Regulators are hampering the deal: the US FTC has filed a lawsuit against the acquisition, the UK CMA has launched an in-depth investigation and the EU has issued a formal antitrust warning to Microsoft.
The lion’s share of regulators’ fears stems from Microsoft’s transfer of ownership of the Call-of-Duty franchise, to which the platform owner can withdraw access to its competitors like Sony if it so chooses.
Microsoft has repeatedly denied such assumptions, even signing 10-year deals with Nintendo and NVIDIA to expand Call of Duty’s audience by 150 million people. Sony is not yet going on the terms of a competitor.