Organ yesterday antitrust Brazilian commented favorably on theacquisition of Activision Blizzard from Microsoft for about 70 billion dollars. His is a non-binding opinion (the only binding ones are those of the USA, the United Kingdom and the European Union), but it still has its weight, because naturally the other bodies that exercise the same functions are interested in knowing the point of view of their Colleagues. Not that they necessarily have to express themselves in the same way, but they can certainly take into account the various international endorsements (or rejections) before expressing their opinion or making requests.
Procedures of this kind have rituals that are always respected, first of all the hearing of the competitors who are in some way involved in the turnover influenced by the potential achievement of the agreement. For example, today news has come that the European antitrust has asked to listen to the opinion of some developers before deciding. That’s right: before deciding it is correct and sacrosanct to listen to as many voices as possible.
Those who take certain acquisitions for granted are wrong, because they are long and complex proceedings. If this were not the case, Microsoft would not have been forced to produce thousands of pages of documents for each institution, providing answers and supplementary materials where required. He would not even have set up a dedicated team if necessary, paying millions of dollars of lawyers and specialists, but he would have been enough to hire a few social commentators and they would have had the situation in hand. We are actually talking about something extremely complex, which cannot be reduced to a mere “they know what they do” (of course they know, but it means nothing) and the result of which cannot be taken for granted, because it is not taken for granted.
It is also right that those who feel threatened by the acquisition raise all the doubts of the case because it is in their right and in their interest. After all, if there is a need for the approval of the antitrust bodies, it is precisely to protect all competitors, understood in the broadest sense of the reference market of the companies involved. A monopoly would be harmful to everyone, even the consumers themselves.
That said, see the president of a prestigious and powerful company like Sony making coarse opposition is not a pretty sight. First there were the releases against Microsoft, launched into the fray in the press, then the various trips to the various antitrust bodies, casually disclosed to everyone, including opinions expressed. Not that Jim Ryan (we’re talking about him, of course) has to be complacent. Indeed, as already mentioned, it is in its full right to try to do everything (within the limits of the law, of course) to blow up the acquisition. However, it could adopt a strategy that does not poison the environment even more, creating public conflicts, thus ending up involving the gamers themselves in what is only a contrast between billionaire multinationals that have as their objective the revenues and happiness of the shareholders, not certainly that of the public. Furthermore, in this way he is giving a slightly altered idea of the power relations of the videogame market.
PlayStation is the first platform of the traditional console market, it is fair to reiterate it, and it is ahead of Microsoft and Nintendo of different lengths (read billions of dollars) in terms of annual revenues. Currently PS5 is the best-selling and desired next-generation console, capable of going out of stock every time it appears in some store. The brand is strong, the fan base is loyal and passionate, the company’s investments are multiplying in different directions and, success after success (think of landing on PC) the future looks increasingly rosy, so why come to fear with such forces the danger of a monopoly post acquisition to the point of annoying the Brazilian antitrust? That it went like this is clear from the reasons for the approval itself, which never mention Sony, but clearly refer directly to it: “the main objective of the CADE’s activity is the defense of competition as a means of promoting the well-being of Brazilian consumers, and not the defense of the particular interests of specific competitors.“
Paradoxically, by doing so, one runs the risk of obtaining the opposite effect to the desired one. The first of the class screaming at the monopoly against the third …
Parliamone is a daily opinion column that offers a starting point for discussion around the news of the day, a small editorial written by a member of the editorial team but which is not necessarily representative of the Multiplayer.it editorial line.
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