UCL School of Management

12 July 2023

Joost Rietveld gives game-changing insights in Financial Times article

UCL School of Management Associate Professor and gaming industry expert Dr Joost Rietveld has been discussing the concessions Microsoft may need to make to obtain approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for its acquisition of Activision with the Financial Times

Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of gaming company Activision has received a positive ruling from a US judge, allowing the deal to proceed. The judge believes that the acquisition will not harm competition, as Microsoft is unlikely to make games exclusive to its Xbox consoles. In fact, the judge noted potential benefits for consumers, such as increased accessibility and lower prices for popular titles like Call of Duty. Microsoft has made commitments to keep Call of Duty available on PlayStation and has secured agreements with other companies like Nintendo to expand the availability of Activision’s games. While the ruling can still be appealed, it is unlikely to be overturned. The decision also has implications for a separate case in the UK, where regulators have been attempting to block the deal. Microsoft is required to finalise the acquisition by July 18 or face substantial financial penalties. The outcome of this acquisition is significant for the technology and gaming industries at large.

Joost highlights that while Microsoft has already offered licensing terms similar to those accepted by Brussels, further concessions may be necessary to secure the CMA’s support. These concessions could involve licensing more games to other streaming services and navigating negotiations with competitors such as Amazon’s Luna. Joost’s expert analysis provides valuable insights into the challenges Microsoft may encounter in obtaining regulatory approval from the CMA.

In an alternative article, Joost further shares his expertise with The Conversation. While the Financial Times article explores insights on the concessions required for UK regulatory approval, this article delves into a wider range of topics surrounding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision and the evolving landscape of cloud gaming.

Read the full Financial Times article, or The Conversation article for a broader perspective on the Microsoft-Activision deal.

Last updated Friday, 14 July 2023