Microsoft has reached an NVidia Gaming deal to appease regulators over the Activision Merger


BRUSSELS, 2. Allowed it to complete its hard-fought $69 billion acquisition of Activision regulators and competitors such as Sony strongly oppose the proposed collaboration between Microsoft and Activision. The move could allay concerns by giving users more ways to get Microsoft-controlled games, but regulators around the world are skeptical about the takeover.

Earlier this month the UK said the deal could hurt gamers by weakening competition between Xbox and PlayStation, leading to higher prices, less choice and less innovation for millions of gamers, as well as stifling competition in cloud gaming.

Microsoft President Brad Smith said at a news conference Tuesday that he is now more optimistic about completing the acquisition of Activision following the NVidia deal and a similar deal with Nintendo Co Ltd (7974.T).

Phil Eisler, vice president and general manager of NVidia’s GeForce Now segment, said titles such as Call of Duty would not be available on NVidia’s service unless Microsoft acquired Activision, other Microsoft-owned titles such as Minecraft, however, are covered directly under the 10-year license agreement.

We were a little worried at first, Eisler said of the Microsoft-Activision deal. But then we approached Microsoft and they were very open about their willingness to enable cloud gaming and work with us on a 10 year licensing deal. So over time, they made it more and more comfortable for us.

Eisler said NVidia did not pay Microsoft for access to the titles, which is a similar deal with other gaming companies such as Fortnite maker Epic Games. Instead, NVidia’s 25 million customers have to pay NVidia for access to its cloud gaming platform and Microsoft for their games.

Microsoft shares fell 2%, Nvidia 3.4% and Activision fell 0.7% late Tuesday in a much lower market.

Nvidia said it now supports the Xbox maker’s bid to buy Activision, but the deal could still be a tough sell with regulators. European officials earlier this month warned Microsoft about the deal, while the US Federal Trade Commission asked a judge to block it. UK competition watchdog says Microsoft may have to leave Call of Duty.

Smith said he hoped rival Sony Group Corp (6758.T) would consider making a similar deal with NVidia.

Sony is leading opposition to the Microsoft Activision deal, saying last year it was bad for competition, bad for the gaming industry, and bad for the gamers themselves.

Apart from Sony and NVidia, other companies including Google Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O) has reportedly expressed concern to the FTC about the deal, according to media reports.

Microsoft has promised to keep Call of Duty on the Sony PlayStation. The popularity of the first-person shooter franchise has not waned in the nearly two decades since its release, with the latest installment grossing $1 billion in the first 10 days of October.

The US tech giant says the deal is about more than Call of Duty. The purchase of the company, which also makes Over watch and Candy Crush, is expected to spur its growth across mobile, PC, cloud gaming and consoles, and help it compete with Ten cent as well (0700.HK). Like Sony.






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