According to a recent report, European regulators have questioned developers and publishers about the potential implications of Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
According to Reuters, it has access to a 91-page questionnaire created by the European Commission with the aim of gathering data from businesses with deeper expertise in the area.
The questionnaire was sent out earlier this month, probably to console makers, publishers, developers, distributors, and suppliers of PC operating systems, according to a source allegedly familiar with the situation.
The survey, which requested replies before Christmas, allegedly asks respondents to identify the exclusivity measures they believe Microsoft might be able to implement in the event that it were to purchase Activision Blizzard.
For instance, it is said to inquire as to whether the firm would be able to lower the quality of Activision’s games on competing gaming systems or offer upgrades that are exclusive to Xbox.
Additionally, it inquires as to whether Microsoft will likely increase the wholesale cost of Activision titles for consoles that compete with Xbox, causing retailers to hike prices for PS5 versions, for example, or postpone the release of non-Xbox versions until a later time.
The survey is supposed to at one point ask its respondents whether they believe Call of Duty to be the most significant video game franchise for distributors and what the primary alternatives are. This is in line with most of the discussion around the prospective acquisition.
Microsoft has consistently affirmed in recent weeks that it plans to continue Call of Duty game releases on PlayStation systems for a while.
Microsoft claimed earlier this month that it had provided Sony with a legally binding 10-year agreement to make each new Call of Duty game available on PlayStation the same day it becomes available on Xbox in an effort to assist win clearance for its proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard.
Similar agreements were also reached with Nintendo and Valve, the owner of Steam; however, Gabe Newell, the head of Valve, publicly declared that none were necessary because Xbox has “always kept its word.”
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced earlier this month that it was attempting to halt the $68.7 billion transaction because it thought it would give Microsoft the ability to “suppress competitors” to its Xbox consoles, its subscription content, and its cloud gaming company.
Microsoft President Brad Smith stated that the business was confident in its position and would make an effort to show that the agreement was not anti-competitive in a formal response to the news.