The Financial National Economy Authority (FNE), Chile’s regulating body for markets, has just issued an endorsement for Microsofts highly controversial acquisition of mega-publisher Activision Blizzard. They explained that, while the merger generates horizontal and vertical overlap, since Microsoft is the dominant publisher while Activision Blizzard is one of the largest video game developers, this transaction does not undermine the balance of the gaming market nor does it create an unfair situation for Microsoft’s competitors in Chile.
The country’s market regulators conducted two main analyses, which covered a horizontal analysis, assessing if the acquisition will hinder the competition of other developers against Activision-Blizzard, and a vertical one, to assess whether Microsoft may hinder the availability of games developed by Activision Blizzard, and a vertical one, assessing if Microsoft may not allow other platforms to provide games developed by Activision Blizzard. The UK’s Competition Authority, CMA, has recently entered into the second stage of its inquiry into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard in more detail in order to make sure the deal does not give Microsoft a competitive advantage should it be approved.
Their initial claim is that Chile has no problems with the transaction, as does Brazil, which was one of the first countries to approve this deal. Activision Blizzards VP of corporate affairs and chief operating officer, Lulu Cheng Meservey, also confirmed their decision to confirm the megadeal, noting that Chile now joins other countries who approved of our Microsoft acquisition, including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Serbia.
Chiles Competition Authority, the FNE, has now approved our purchase by Microsoft, joining regulators elsewhere who have also recognized the benefits the agreement will bring to the gaming industry and players. It is important to note, though, that this complaint is not the only thing that Microsoft has had to face in order to defend its purchase of Activision from restriction. The Chilean Federal National Electricity Authority approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision during its phase one proceedings, while the transaction is being closely examined during phases two and three in the U.S., U.K., and E.U.
Around September 2022, Microsoft wrote to Sony Interactive Entertainment confirming Microsoft’s commitment to supporting Activision Blizzard on the PlayStation for a number of years past the existing contract negotiated prior to the acquisition, said to be up until 2024, according to Bloomberg. Shortly after this statement, Sony Interactive Entertainment stated it expected Microsoft to honor all Activision Blizzards published agreements regarding multiplatform games, assuring that Activision Blizzard will continue to be available on PlayStation platforms, rather than making any console-exclusive titles. FNE does not believe Microsofts holding back major mega-publisher Activision Blizzard titles, like Call of Duty, on other platforms will lead to vertical monopolization, as there are a number of competitors involved, such as EA, Take Two, Epic Games, etc.