The UK's Competition and Markets Authority is disliked by Microsoft. The full 76-page report on the findings of the in-depth review by the UK regulators has now been released. Microsoft thinks that the regulators have listened to Sony's lawyers too much and that they have concerns about the Microsoft deal.
Microsoft tried to get its deal done on the day of the Phase 2 decision. Microsoft describes the concerns as "misplaced" and says that the regulators "adopts Sony's complaints without considering the potential harm to consumers" and "incorrectly relies on self-serving statements by Sony which exaggerate the importance of Call of Duty." Microsoft suggests that the regulators are just listening too much to what Sony has to say.
Access to Call of Duty and the future of game subscriptions are at the center of all the back and forth. According to the UK regulators, the newest games from ABK are not currently available on any subscription service on the day of release. Microsoft could use this input to harm its rivals after the merger.
Microsoft tries to make it look like it can't compete by making it look like it sucks at gaming and it can't compete Microsoft says it has no reason to harm or degrade rival cloud gaming services as it wants to "encourage the major shift in consumer behavior required for cloud."
Microsoft might be in last place in console sales during the previous generation, but it is investing billions of dollars to make sure any future Xbox sales aren't less than half of the PS4.
Sony and Microsoft have been fighting over Call of Duty, and the CMA is worried about Sony's future revenues related to the game. Losing access to Call of Duty could have a significant impact on Sony's revenues and user base if it were to be lost.
Sony showed how important Call of Duty is after it labeled Microsoft's offer to keep Call of Duty on PS3 inadequate. Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft's gaming division, made a written commitment to Jim Ryan, the head of Sony's console division, to keep Call of Duty on the platform for several more years. Jim Ryan said that the proposal was inadequate and failed to take into account the impact on the gaming community.
Keeping Call of Duty on the PS3 is a commercial imperative for the Xbox business, according to Microsoft. Microsoft said it would put revenue at risk if it pulled Call of Duty from the PS4.
Microsoft accuses Sony of not welcoming competition from the Xbox Game Pass. This increased competition has not been welcomed by the market leader Sony, which has elected to protect its revenues from sales of newly released games. Microsoft claimed in legal documents that Sony pays for blocking games from the Xbox Game Pass.
If the UK battles are any indication, this acquisition will get messy as Microsoft and Sony try to sway regulators. Microsoft is trying to convince regulators that its giant deal isn't a bad one for gaming. The battle to continue to spill out onto the internet's streets is still months away.