Tech And Science

Microsoft plans to launch its own mobile game shop to compete with Apple, Google

Microsoft PC Games 40 countries
Source: Pixabay

According to reports, Microsoft plans to launch its own mobile games shop for iPhones and Android handsets as soon as next year if authorities approve its $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

According to Microsoft’s gaming head Phil Spencer, the EU’s Digital Market Act (DMA), which goes into effect in March 2024, will help the company meet its mobile app store ambition by allowing companies to load their app stores on iPhones and Android phones by asking Apple and Google to open up their systems.

“We want to be in a position to offer Xbox and content from both us and our third-party partners across any screen where somebody would want to play,” Spencer was quoted as saying.

“Today, we can’t do that on mobile devices but we want to build towards a world that we think will be coming where those devices are opened up,” he added.

Microsoft is facing authorities in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom, who are all concerned about the possible impact on competition of Microsoft’s acquisition of the developer of Call of Duty, one of the world’s most popular game series.

Microsoft formally received an antitrust warning from the European Union last month in connection with its proposal to acquire Activision Blizzard.

According to a report in Politico citing sources, the notice said that EU officials “laid out the reasons why the deal could threaten fair competition on the video game market.”

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also sued Microsoft for acquiring Activision Blizzard, a renowned video game producer.

Moreover, the report said that Spencer believes the deal will increase competition in what he calls the “largest platform people play on” — smartphones — where Apple and Google currently have what some antitrust authorities call a “duopoly” over the distribution of games and other apps.

“The Digital Markets Act that’s coming — those are the kinds of things that we are planning for. I think it’s a huge opportunity,” he said.

Under the DMA, the EU is anticipated to designate Apple and Google as “gatekeepers,” obliging them to adjust the regulations that govern app distribution on iPhones and Android devices.

According to the article, the Big Tech companies may submit an appeal, postponing enforcement beyond the March deadline.

Last month, the tech giant negotiated a 10-year arrangement with Japanese gaming giant Nintendo to offer Xbox games, including Call of Duty (CoD), to Nintendo’s gamers, ahead of a European Commission hearing.