They state that it is unable substantially reduce competition.
The Fiscalia Nacional Economica (FNE), Chile’s market regulatory institution, just published its approval of the widely contentious Microsoft acquisition of mega-publisher Activision Blizzard. Chile joins Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Serbia as the few jurisdictions that have approved the nearly $69 billion dollar purchase.
Microsoft, and subsequently Xbox, haven’t been so lucky in other larger markets, with the United Kingdom regulators in the middle of the second phase of their investigation, something Microsoft didn’t take kindly. And although it first looked like there would be no issue, the market regulator for the United States, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) recently announced it was suing Microsoft for the acquisition, as it considered it could result in Xbox getting “an unfair advantage” in the video game market.
The FNE sees it differently, stating that it believes the acquisition going through isn’t fit to substantially reduce competition. It first stated that Xbox and Activision’s combined presence in the video game market, in terms of game publishing and distribution, didn’t go beyond a particular established threshold that would raise concerns regarding competition. Furthermore, the FNE found this presence matched by relevant competitors within a dynamic market.
The FNE didn’t believe that Microsoft withholding major Activision titles, like Call of Duty, from other platforms would result in a vertical monopoly, due to numerous relevant competitors, such as EA, Take Two, Epic Games, and more. It also considers that players wouldn’t switch consoles following Activision content becoming exclusive on Xbox, touting a survey that polled Chilean consumers.
It believes the Call of Duty sales on PlayStation that Microsoft would lose out on disincentivizes making the franchise Xbox exclusive, something Xbox Head Phil Spencer has stated numerous times. Another reason for the approval is that the FNE claims Activision Blizzard games aren’t as relevant to Latin American gamers as they are to the rest of the market worldwide.