Earlier this year, Microsoft announced its intent to purchase Activision Blizzard, but regulators have made it difficult to discern whether the deal will be allowed to take place. The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority is currently entering the second phase of its investigation, and has now published statements from Microsoft and Sony about the proposed purchase. Sony is very much opposed to the deal, as it has maintained that Microsoft will take the Call of Duty franchise away from PlayStation and make it exclusive to Xbox. However, in newly published statements, Sony has also alleged that Microsoft could use the opportunity to raise prices on Xbox consoles, as well.
"Microsoft would be able to: increase console and game prices for Xbox users (including those that had switched from PlayStation); increase the price of Game Pass; and reduce innovation and quality."
Of course, as Windows Central points out, the accusation is a bit ridiculous given the fact that PlayStation recently increased the price of the PlayStation 5 in most markets outside of the U.S., and the company has also raised the price of most first-party games to $70. Meanwhile, the Xbox Series S just saw a price drop for Black Friday, making it $50 cheaper than normal. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has hinted that price increases similar to PlayStation's could happen in the future, but it's likely those would be caused by factors such as global inflation or chip shortages.
The CMA won't come to any decision about Microsoft's proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard until March 23, 2023. There are a lot of concerns about the deal, though some are more legitimate than others. Regulators are tasked with making sure that any such purchase would not give Microsoft too much power in the video game industry. Microsoft has maintained that it would keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, and possibly bring the series to Nintendo Switch, as well. However, it remains to be seen whether that argument will convince regulators.
Do you think Sony's claim has merit? Will Microsoft raise the price of Xbox consoles if it purchases Activision Blizzard? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter and on Hive at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!