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Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard. Woah. .


MidWalian
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Competition regulators seem to be quite active of late, so I would expect this to attract a lot of interest. The CMA recently ruled that Facebook had to reverse its acquisition of Giphy, and that transaction was 175 times smaller than this one, and IIRC Valve got fined last year as well for anti-competitive practices. 

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6 minutes ago, K said:

Competition regulators seem to be quite active of late, so I would expect this to attract a lot of interest. The CMA recently ruled that Facebook had to reverse its acquisition of Giphy, and that transaction was 175 times smaller than this one, and IIRC Valve got fined last year as well for anti-competitive practices. 

And also today, at nearly the same time this was coming out, the US FCC and DoJ said they are going to update their merger guidelines, which people think may mean more rigorous scrutiny of things like this.

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18 minutes ago, Oz said:

That this is legally allowed is an indictment of anti monopoly rules and capitalism really. Governments have lost their ability to control and oversee corporate growth. We are fucked. 

 

11 minutes ago, K said:

Competition regulators seem to be quite active of late, so I would expect this to attract a lot of interest. The CMA recently ruled that Facebook had to reverse its acquisition of Giphy, and that transaction was 175 times smaller than this one, and IIRC Valve got fined last year as well for anti-competitive practices. 

 

Post acquisition Microsoft still remains the third-biggest player in the market, by quite some margin.

 

So I don't have a clue how you argue it's a monopoly or block the transaction on monopolistic grounds.

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2 minutes ago, Isaac said:

 

 

Post acquisition Microsoft still remains the third-biggest player in the market, by quite some margin.

 

So I don't have a clue how you argue it's a monopoly or block the transaction on monopolistic grounds.

third biggest by what metric mate? Microsoft is the company with the largest market value in history. 

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5 minutes ago, Oz said:

third biggest by what metric mate? Microsoft is the company with the largest market value in history. 

I think that's Apple (edit - yeah, they're the only ones to tip $3T)

 

Don't they take consideration of the specific market you're in? Like, they bought that $20bn speech services company and that didn't fail to go through because they're in the 2 Trillion club.

 

It would be interesting if they dialled back merger stuff now, after so much of it has gone on. Lookup things like the wiki list of big pharma M&A.

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4 minutes ago, TehStu said:

I think that's Apple (edit - yeah, they're the only ones to tip $3T)

 

Don't they take consideration of the specific market you're in? Like, they bought that $20bn speech services company and that didn't fail to go through because they're in the 2 Trillion club.

 

It would be interesting if they dialled back merger stuff now, after so much of it has gone on. Lookup things like the wiki list of big pharma M&A.

Yeh that’s right it is apple sorry. 

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4 minutes ago, Isaac said:

 

 

Post acquisition Microsoft still remains the third-biggest player in the market, by quite some margin.

 

So I don't have a clue how you argue it's a monopoly or block the transaction on monopolistic grounds.


I don’t think you’re exempt from competition law if you’re in third place in a market. It depends on the specific circumstances. I’m not a competition lawyer so I wouldn’t feel comfortable arguing one way or the other, but if one player is big enough to buy up independent companies and restrict access to the market to its own platform, does that count as abusing a dominant position? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t necessarily dismiss it out of hand either. 

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I've not seen that list before. Nintendo's revenue is kinda bonkers. I don't see why they can't keep doing what they're doing, unless they fluff the Switch sequel. But effectively merging their console and handheld markets seems to have worked magic.

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10 minutes ago, teddymeow said:

 

 

 

Screenshot_20220118-195503__01.jpg

Well so of those the only one incorporated in the US (the government supposed to be regulating this) is Microsoft.

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18 minutes ago, Oz said:

third biggest by what metric mate? Microsoft is the company with the largest market value in history. 

 

14 minutes ago, TehStu said:

I think that's Apple.

 

Don't they take consideration of the specific market you're in? Like, they bought that $20bn speech services company and that didn't fail to go through because they're in the 2 Trillion club.

 

It would be interesting if they dialled back merger stuff now, after so much of it has gone on. Lookup things like the wiki list of big pharma M&A.

 

Technically in "history" it's the Dutch East India Company but I think it's said to be Apple in much the same way Avatar is said to be the biggest film ever and not Gone With the Wind as inflation is ignored plus it makes the shareholders and investment companies happier.

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Should we really have three companies with over 20 billion revenue a year? I don’t know what I personally prefer as a consumer. I like game pass. But I worry about our dystopian fucking nightmare cyberpunk future where it is not possible to regulate what any of these do. Chinese companies are already just arms of the government and the US they are owners. 

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6 minutes ago, Oz said:

Well so of those the only one incorporated in the US (the government supposed to be regulating this) is Microsoft.

I don't think this really matters. When big companies buy each other, regulators worldwide get involved. You often hear them waiting approval from regulators in US, EU, UK and sometimes China might get a mention, along with others.

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1 hour ago, Azrael said:

Everyone is looking through the back catalogue and IPs owned by Activision/Blizzard and foaming at the mouth at the prospects of these being resurrected by Microsoft when in all reality this deal probably just means just lots more CoD, Candy Crush and Overwatch. 

 

I don't know much about gaming IP, but in other entertainment the IP is what you're buying/care about. Look what Disney did once they got their hands on Star Wars.

If Microsoft don't do something cool with all the Blizzard IP - some of the most well known and loved IP in gaming - Nintendo level for folks like me - it'll be a huge waste/shame.

Also, I would normally agree that consolidation is a bad thing, but I would hope Microsoft are actually hoping to clean up the culture at ActiBlizz. In the internal mail it's mentioned specifically: We look forward to extending our journey to create a more diverse and inclusive culture to our new colleagues at Activision Blizzard, and ensuring all our employees can do what they love, while thriving in a safe and welcoming environment — one where everyone feels empowered to do their best work.

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52 minutes ago, Oz said:

That this is legally allowed is an indictment of anti monopoly rules and capitalism really. Governments have lost their ability to control and oversee corporate growth. We are fucked. 

SteamID, PSN, Battlenet, Uplay, Origin & NintendoID: OZ4ND0V4L

 

I don't have Steam, PSN, Battlenet, Uplay, Origin or a Nintendo ID. I've just got Game Pass Ultimate for the next three years. You might be fucked. I'm cracking open a bottle to celebrate.

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World of Warcraft is still ongoing, overwatch 2 is in development as is Diablo iv so the only dormant big blizz IP currently is StarCraft. 
 

There are dozens and dozens of games blizz have green lit and then cancelled and which never saw the light of day, so maybe some of those will go back into production, or perhaps Microsoft will just be happy for blizz to just keep doing what they’re doing, only without all the sexual harassment. 

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3 minutes ago, Doctor Shark said:

World of Warcraft is still ongoing, overwatch 2 is in development as is Diablo iv so the only dormant big blizz IP currently is StarCraft. 
 

There are dozens and dozens of games blizz have green lit and then cancelled and which never saw the light of day, so maybe some of those will go back into production, or perhaps Microsoft will just be happy for blizz to just keep doing what they’re doing, only without all the sexual harassment. 


Absolutely, but you can now make a Diablo.... FPS or a Warcraft... FPS !

I jest, kinda. But I hope they do more creative things with the IP than just continue keeping the WoW servers live.

Personally I'm a huge Heroes of the Storm fan - the nichiest of all games. I can see this acquisition just as likely leading to it being turned off, but I can hold out 1% hope they want to get back into the MOBA game :). You could actually make tons of money from HOTS if they actually monetised it properly...

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I’m not a big activision game player personally.  My entertainment will come from the people that’ll spin this as a bad move. 

let’s hope MS do something with all those studios. Game Pass just became an even better deal.  

 

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People often respond to acquisition news by saying stuff like “oooh - does this mean we could see a new [ancient game series that I liked but has been dead for years]?” 
 

Has this ever happened before? I would have thought that if you’ve spent billions of dollars on something, you’d want to stick to the big, proven, existing crowd-pleasing hits, rather than experiment with stuff that’s been out of commission for years. Is there anything in the Activision vaults that’s worth reviving?

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3 minutes ago, K said:

People often respond to acquisition news by saying stuff like “oooh - does this mean we could see a new [ancient game series that I liked but has been dead for years]?”

 

That's just how rllmuk responds to every bit of news, and also how they fill in empty spaces between news, and also...

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1 minute ago, K said:

People often respond to acquisition news by saying stuff like “oooh - does this mean we could see a new [ancient game series that I liked but has been dead for years]?” 
 

Has this ever happened before? I would have thought that if you’ve spent billions of dollars on something, you’d want to stick to the big, proven, existing crowd-pleasing hits, rather than experiment with stuff that’s been out of commission for years. Is there anything in the Activision vaults that’s worth reviving?


Loki, Scarlet Witch, Moon Knight.

It's obviously wishful thinking, but I'd love a big studio to be more experimental with its IP the way Disney is with the MCU. We take their blockbuster success for granted but they took a lot of risks.

I don't want more games with a gun bobbing along the bottom of the screen though.

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The monopolists bit might have a problem. I’m struggling to remember them arguing that Sony buying up various studios - when their gaming revenue is already so high - or Tencent buying all sorts of shit should have been referred.

 

I’m dubious of the takeover, and if it wasn’t a company collapsing from the inside out I suspect I’d be more outraged. But I wonder if activision blizzard still exists in any case in twelve months time without it.

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4 minutes ago, K said:

People often respond to acquisition news by saying stuff like “oooh - does this mean we could see a new [ancient game series that I liked but has been dead for years]?” 
 

Has this ever happened before? I would have thought that if you’ve spent billions of dollars on something, you’d want to stick to the big, proven, existing crowd-pleasing hits, rather than experiment with stuff that’s been out of commission for years. Is there anything in the Activision vaults that’s worth reviving?

Pitfall, which is basically an old school Uncharted, and MS needs something like that. 

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7 minutes ago, K said:

 

Has this ever happened before? I would have thought that if you’ve spent billions of dollars on something, you’d want to stick to the big, proven, existing crowd-pleasing hits, rather than experiment with stuff that’s been out of commission for years. Is there anything in the Activision vaults that’s worth reviving?

It's because it's different with Microsoft. If Embracer or Sony had bought them, of course they'd stick to existing crowd-pleasing hits. But Xbox has a different business model, their main goal is making Game Pass attractive and bring in more subscribers. So alongside the crowd pleasing hits, there's a good chance they'll put smaller teams to work on fan favourite older ip, the kind of titles that get the specialized press and hobbyists like us talking.

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4 minutes ago, K said:

People often respond to acquisition news by saying stuff like “oooh - does this mean we could see a new [ancient game series that I liked but has been dead for years]?” 
 

Has this ever happened before? I would have thought that if you’ve spent billions of dollars on something, you’d want to stick to the big, proven, existing crowd-pleasing hits, rather than experiment with stuff that’s been out of commission for years. Is there anything in the Activision vaults that’s worth reviving?


Microsoft bought Rare and then got non-Rare studios to make Killer Instinct, Battletoads and Fable. It’s not the primary reason they’re acquiring all these companies but it’s an ancillary benefit for sure, gives them more options. That stuff will be years away if it happens at all, sure, but it’s quite likely at some point. 

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