PlayStation says Microsoft Activision deal could lead to Xbox Series X price hike

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced its intent to buy Activision Blizzard, but regulators have made it difficult to determine whether the deal will be allowed. The UK Competition and Markets Authority is currently entering the second phase of its investigation and has now published statements from Microsoft and Sony regarding the proposed purchase. Sony has strongly opposed the deal, as it has insisted that Microsoft take the Call of Duty franchise away from PlayStation and make it exclusive to Xbox. However, in newly published statements, Sony has also claimed that Microsoft could take 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 who have switched from PlayStation); increase the price of Game Pass; and reduce innovation and quality.”

Of course, if Windows Central points out that the accusation is a bit ridiculous given that PlayStation recently increased the price of the PlayStation 5 in most markets outside the US, and the company also increased 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 usual. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has hinted that price hikes similar to PlayStation’s could happen in the future, but it’s likely these will be driven by factors such as global inflation or chip shortages.

The CMA will not make a decision on Microsoft’s proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard until March 23, 2023. There are many concerns about the deal, although some are more legitimate than others. Regulators are tasked with making sure such a purchase doesn’t give Microsoft too much leverage in the video game industry. Microsoft has maintained 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 is well founded? Will Microsoft raise the price of Xbox consoles if it buys Activision Blizzard? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter and on Hive at @Marcdachamp to talk about all things gaming!

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