Microsoft gets more Activision merger allies after agreements with Nvidia, Nintendo

February 22, 2023

Microsoft continues to face different regulators around the globe and huge critics like Sony to close the Activision megadeal. Despite this, the software company focuses on making moves to resolve the concerns of its rival companies, resulting in more allies rallying around it. Apart from Nintendo, Nvidia is also now on Microsoft’s side alongside the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the reported support of Tencent.

The same week Microsoft was about to defend its proposed merger in front of the European Union regulators in Brussels, Microsoft announced that it signed a 10-year contract with Nintendo. After this, the company shared that it also made “a 10 year agreement with NVIDIA that will allow GeForce NOW players to stream Xbox PC games as well as Activision Blizzard PC titles, including COD, following the acquisition.”

The 10-year partnership should bring Xbox PC games to the NVIDIA GeForce NOW cloud gaming service in the future, giving gamers more flexible ways of accessing Activision Blizzard PC titles like Call of Duty using different devices. 

The move serves as Microsoft’s response to concerns about the possible effects of the deal on the cloud gaming competition, which was mentioned repeatedly by different regulators.

“Combining the incredibly rich catalog of Xbox first party games with GeForce NOW’s high-performance streaming capabilities will propel cloud gaming into a mainstream offering that appeals to gamers at all levels of interest and experience,” said Jeff Fisher, senior vice president of the GeForce business unit at NVIDIA. “Through this partnership, more of the world’s most popular titles will now be available from the cloud with just a click, playable by millions more gamers.”

Apparently, Sony remains the biggest company protesting against the merger. Microsoft addressed this after Tuesday’s closed-door hearing with European Union regulators in Brussels. The company’s president, Brad Smith, stressed how the company is always ready to give the rival the same agreement anytime. In the press event, Smith even showed a paper and claimed it was the contract Sony just had to accept. Despite this (and the repeated assurances Microsoft mentioned in the past), Sony remains silent about accepting the offer and supporting the Activision acquisition.

Microsoft, nonetheless, hopes to convince regulators by gathering more companies to support the deal. Aside from Nvidia and Nintendo now officially and publicly backing up the merger, CWA, a labor union in the US, also urged the European Commission to approve the megadeal. Last year, Meta also expressed its support for Microsoft through the documents it submitted to the Administrative Council for Economic Defense of Brazil, which later approved the deal without restrictions. According to Dealreporter (via Seeking Alpha), Tencent, the company Microsoft wants to compete with post-merger, also supports it.

While a handful of supportive companies and unions won’t ensure the approval of the deal, it could serve as a significant statement to the regulators still in doubt. Microsoft also remains sanguine, expressing continuous hopes for regulators to see how the merger will actually benefit gamers and competition.

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