Several weeks ago, fellow Briton Dave broke the news that UK retail chain GAME had bought their biggest rivals Gamestation in a move that disgusted many gamers in this fair nation, myself included. Game is a horrendous chain that has a clueless and inept staff, no quality control or testing of secondhand games and a sickeningly unreasonable part exchange rate. The threat of a GAME controlled monopoly on the UK’s games retail industry is a terrible thing, but the Office of Fair Trading is currently investigating the takeover to assess the true ramifications.
The OFT works to ensure healthy competition and is looking into whether or not the buyout of Gamestation will reduce such competition. Considering the market for dedicated high street video game retail was limited almost exclusively to those two chains, I think that should say quite a bit already.
After the jump, you can read the statements of both the OFT and the GAME Group. If you’d like to know quickly what kind of chain GAME is, however, consider that they, supposedly a video game store, pulled Manhunt from the shelves after a kid got murdered with a claw hammer and the game got irresponsibly blamed. That kind of turncoat activity has never been forgotten by this particular editor.
The OFT on the GAME/Gamestation merger:
“The Office of Fair Trading is considering whether arrangements are in progress or in contemplation which, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002,” detailed the OFT.
“Should it be found to be a relevant merger situation, the OFT will further consider whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK for goods or services that warrants reference to the Competition Commission for investigation and report.”
The GAME Group’s statement:
“As expected we have notified the acquisition of Gamestation to the OFT for normal regulatory review. This review will take about two months and we will be co-operating fully with the OFT process.”
Jim Sterling’s thoughtful opinion:
“GAME’s run by twats.”