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New Zealand NZCC delays decision on Microsoft takeover to July 17

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

The New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) has delayed its decision on Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard to July 17. The NZCC had originally been expected to make a decision by June 20, but has now said that it needs more time to assess the deal's potential impact on competition in the cloud gaming market.

The NZCC's concerns about cloud gaming stem from the fact that Activision Blizzard is a major publisher of video games, including some of the most popular titles in the world, such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. If Microsoft were to acquire Activision Blizzard, it would give the company control of a vast library of games that could be used in its cloud gaming service, Xbox Game Pass.

The NZCC is worried that this could give Microsoft an unfair advantage over its rivals in the cloud gaming market, such as Sony and Google. The commission is also concerned that the deal could lead to higher prices for consumers and less choice in the market.

Microsoft has said that it is confident that the deal will not harm competition in the cloud gaming market. The company has argued that it will continue to make Activision Blizzard's games available to other cloud gaming services, such as Google Stadia and Amazon Luna.

The NZCC's decision is a setback for Microsoft, but it is not the end of the road for the deal. The company can still appeal the NZCC's decision if it is not satisfied with the outcome.

The delay in the NZCC's decision is another sign that the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal is facing regulatory scrutiny around the world. The deal has already been approved in more than 40 countries, but it is still facing opposition from regulators in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The outcome of the NZCC's review could have a significant impact on the future of the cloud gaming market. If the deal is approved, it could give Microsoft a major advantage in the market. However, if the deal is blocked, it could slow down the growth of the cloud gaming market.

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