NVIDIA and Google Shared Concerns About Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Deal with the FTC [UPDATED]

Alessio Palumbo
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[UPDATE] A Microsoft spokesperson reached out to Wccftech with the following comment about the NVIDIA and Google story:

We are prepared to address and have been proactively addressing issues raised by regulators and competitors to ensure that the deal closes with confidence. We want people to have more access to games, not less.

[ORIGINAL STORY] Sony is no longer alone in complaining about Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, following Bloomberg's report that NVIDIA and Google also voiced their concerns to the US Federal Trade Commission.

Apparently, both companies shared information to support the FTC's claim that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard would provide Microsoft with an unfair advantage in the categories of cloud gaming, subscription service, and mobile gaming. However, NVIDIA's position is reportedly slightly different in that the company highlighted the need for equal and open access to all games rather than directly opposing the deal.

It sounds like NVIDIA is primarily trying to protect its GeForce NOW cloud gaming service (sporting a user base of 25 million), likely in fear that the availability of Activision Blizzard games on the cloud would be limited to Game Pass after the deal's closure. It should be noted, though, that Activision Blizzard games haven't been available on GeForce NOW ever since the cloud service left beta in February 2020, when the publisher requested their removal. At the time, NVIDIA claimed it was all a misunderstanding and hoped to get the publisher's highly popular titles back on GFN, but that never happened to this day. NVIDIA is likely trying to get Microsoft to budge on Game Pass titles availability on GeForce NOW.

As for Google, its motives are harder to ascertain compared to NVIDIA. After all, the company did try to launch a competing cloud gaming and subscription service with Google Stadia, but its efforts only lasted slightly over three years. Stadia is officially shutting down next week on Wednesday, January 18th. That said, its technology is now being licensed to third parties, which may be part of why Google is taking issue with Microsoft's $68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard.

The FTC sued to block the deal a month ago. Microsoft has since replied, and the first pre-trial hearing took place last week, although the actual hearing is scheduled for sometime in August. On the other hand, the UK's CMA and European Union equivalent regulator body are expected to share their conclusion in April.

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