The FTC should answer its Call of Duty to Gamers

The American Institute for Economic Research cites Vice President for Strategy Iain Murray on the Microsoft-Activision merger:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Iain Murray has also noted several other important problems with the assertion that the Microsoft-Activision merger would harm consumers. He has collected several examples from the public comments on the merger in the UK that deserve consideration. They include:

It is unlikely that Microsoft would make Call of Duty exclusive due to its multiplayer nature. Making Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox would only create a gap in the market that could be filled by a rival cross-platform shooter game.

The Merger will push Sony to innovate, such as by improving its subscription service or creating more games to compete with Call of Duty.

The Merger is a reaction to Sony’s business model for PlayStation, which has historically involved securing exclusive content or early access to popular cross-platform gaming franchises.

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.

Murray added: 

Mobile gaming is a growth area. Microsoft/Xbox has virtually no presence in mobile gaming, while three quarters of Activision’s userbase, not to mention a sizeable portion of its revenue, derive from that area. This is most likely at the heart of the acquisition. Going from two large companies in the field to three is hardly a threat to competition.

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