Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella brushed off antitrust concerns around the company’s acquisition of Activision, citing Xbox’s relatively small share of the gaming market.
In a recent interview with Financial Times (opens in new tab), Nadella suggested that Microsoft shouldn’t face any obstacles in its path to regulatory approval because it’s still too small to be considered anti-competitive. Specifically, Nadella notes that Microsoft would only be ranked third in market share behind industry leaders PlayStation and Tencent after the deal.
“At the end of the day, all the analysis here has to be done through a lens of: ‘what’s the category we’re talking about, and market structure?'” he said. “Even post this acquisition, we will be number three with sort of low-teens share [of the gaming market]… We will be a bit player in what will be a highly fragmented place.”
Nadella admits that regulators are likely to scrutinize Microsoft’s Activision purchase based on its potential impact on the metaverse rather than simply its current share in the market, but he points out that Microsoft plans to make it easier for people to bounce between its own virtual worlds and those of its competitors. Ultimately, he hopes that any anti-competition rules applied to the metaverse will also be applied to all tech companies.
“If that is what we want to define for every entrant, all I care about is having equal rules of the road for all participants,” he said. “So if that… comes through legislation or through regulation or regulatory enforcement, whatever form, we will be very open to it and engaging.”
In a break from tradition, the FTC will reportedly be stepping in to review Microsoft’s Activision deal.