Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella appeared in US federal court to declare his support for open platforms and consumer choice, underscoring the company’s commitment to completing its deal with Activision Blizzard, despite regulatory objections. This is reported by The New York Times.
“If it was up to me, I would love to get rid of the entire ‘exclusives on consoles,’” he said.
In this way, the head of the company denied claims by regulators that Microsoft’s deal with the video game giant would limit competition and access to Activision games only for players on the Xbox console.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which recently sued to temporarily block the deal, says the merger would harm competition and consumers. It believes Microsoft can push Activision games such as Call of Duty off rival Sony’s PlayStation console.
For his part, Activision Blizzard chief Bobby Kotick has vowed he has no intention of doing so, though the decision won’t be final if his company is acquired.
“You would have a revolt if you were to remove the game from one platform,” Mr. Kotick said. “It would cause reputational damage to the company.”
We remind you that the trade commission is seeking to obtain an injunction against the merger from the US federal district court a few weeks before the July 18 deadline for the deal. The FTC believes that Microsoft’s actions after the acquisition of ZeniMax and Bethesda is “strong evidence” in favor of preventing the purchase of Activision Blizzard. Microsoft announced plans to acquire ZeniMax and its portfolio of studios in 2020. After the deal closed, games like Redfall and the upcoming Starfield became Xbox exclusives.