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Nvidia and Google are reportedly worried about Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal
The tech companies have voiced concerns about Microsoft's growing dominance
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Microsoft’s deal
📢 Nvidia and Google have reportedly voiced concerns over Microsoft’s proposed buyout of Activision Blizzard
💪 The expansion of Xbox Game Pass threatens to muscle in on Nvidia’s share of the cloud streaming market
⚔️ And Microsoft has suggested it wants to create an Xbox Mobile platform to compete with the Google Play Store
⛔ US regulator the FTC has sued to block the deal, with an in-house trial scheduled for August
Nvidia and Google have joined Sony in raising concerns to the FTC about Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
According to a Bloomberg report, the companies provided information in support of the FTC’s charge that Microsoft would gain an unfair advantage in the cloud, subscription and mobile gaming markets if the deal goes through.
One person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Nvidia isn’t directly opposed to the acquisition, but stressed the importance of equal and open access to game titles.
Regulators and competitor gaming companies worry that Microsoft will make Activision Blizzard’s biggest games only available on its Xbox platforms. Sony has repeatedly voiced concerns about the future exclusivity of Call of Duty, although Microsoft has denied its plans to outright pull the mega-franchise from PlayStation systems and promised to bring it back to Nintendo.
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Aside from producing some of the best GPUs, Nvidia runs the GeForce Now cloud streaming service in competition to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft is hoping to shore up the quality and longevity of Game Pass with the buyout, promising to bring major Activision Blizzard series like Call of Duty, Diablo and Overwatch to the platform if it passes.
After shutting down Stadia and refunding orders last year, Google has all but left the cloud-gaming market, but still has a major stake in mobile gaming with the Android operating system. Through the deal, Microsoft will acquire mammoth mobile game maker King – developer of Candy Crush and other hugely popular mobile titles.
In a document filed to the UK’s market regulator last year, Microsoft said the acquisition of those titles will let it create a new “Xbox Mobile Platform” that will shift “consumers away from the Google Play Store and App Store”.
“We are prepared to address and have been proactively addressing issues raised by regulators or competitors to ensure that the deal closes with confidence,” Microsoft spokesman David Cuddy told Bloomberg. “We want people to have more access to games, not less.”
Microsoft has previously said Sony is the “only major opposer to the deal” and dismissed its concerns as overstating the commercial size and importance of Call of Duty. It will have to convince regulators of that, as the FTC sued to block the buyout last year and has scheduled an in-house trial for August.