Tech editor Dan Howley details the antitrust probe into Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard by UK regulators, in addition to how more parents are buying Apple Watches for their children.
SEANA SMITH: Microsoft shares closing off just around a half of a percent today. UK regulators raising concerns about Microsoft's $70 billion acquisition of video game maker Activision Blizzard. Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley joins us now. And Dan, what's the latest just in terms of what the regulators are saying? Because this, of course, has been an ongoing battle.
DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, this has to do with UK regulators from the Competition and Markets Authority. And essentially what they're saying is, they don't think this is a good, fair, or equitable deal for the video game industry in general. So just to give you a breakdown of what they said, the CMA is concerned-- Competition and Markets Authority-- that Microsoft could leverage Activision Blizzard's gains towards Microsoft's strength across console, cloud, and PC operating systems to damage competition in the nascent market for cloud gaming services.
Now, we've already seen Microsoft is moving forward using this acquisition potentially for the cloud. They've said that the next "Call of Duty" title will be on Microsoft's Game Pass. That's their cloud capable service where you can play games on mobile, on your PC, or on your Xbox, virtually on anything with a screen and an internet connection, for free as long as you're subscribed to that service.
Microsoft's president, Brad Smith, in response to the CMA, said, we're ready to work with the CMA on next steps and address any of its concerns. Sony, as the industry leader, says it is worried about "Call of Duty," but we've said we are committed to making the same games available on the same day on both Xbox and PlayStation. We want people to have more access to games, not less.
Now, the issue here is, will Microsoft continue to allow Sony to gain access to heavy hitters like "Call of Duty"? Don't forget, Microsoft also purchased Bethesda, which also produces some major, major games for the industry. We're talking about the likes of the "Elder Scrolls" series. So it would be a massive deal, although Sony is still the leader as far as console sales when it comes to this generation.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: And it's hard to talk tech without talking about Apple. So I want to look at this growing trend of parents buying their young children Apple Watches. Now, this is a very expensive purchase for a young kid, Dan.
DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, it really is. I mean, more than 200 bucks, but it is better than a smart phone, I got to say, especially when you consider a smartphone can be crushed pretty much anyway, and a watch is a little bit harder to do so. But this seems to be an ongoing trend. I took that picture outside my apartment, by the way. This seems to be an ongoing trend where you're seeing parents kind of reaching out and instead of doing the traditional smartphone, they're now going with an Apple Watch or a smartwatch in general.
And really, they can still get access to messages. They can still get access to phone calls. You can still check things like the weather and use your calculator and things along those lines. But it doesn't have a camera built in, which is good, and you can't constantly scroll something like TikTok or Instagram or get on Facebook through there. So it's really an easier way for kids to get online, stay connected, feel like they're using a high tech device without having that added baggage of a smartphone.
I personally use my Apple Watch every day. I put it on as soon as I get up. I'm trying to figure out how to game those rings. I haven't figured it out yet, but I'll be damned if I won't figure it out.
RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, you got to wonder where it goes from here. I mean, after an Apple Watch, what is your next gift, a Tesla? But anyway, to each his own. A big thank you there to Dan Howley. Thanks so much.