So basically it’s a matter of market share. If company A (lets call them Sony,) and Company B (let’s call them Microsoft,) were to each own 50% of the industry, then Nintendo would never see any games. Also, the power to manipulate pricing would be so substantial that no third party (indie studio,) could set their own price point because Sony or MS would price them out of the market on similar quality games.Monopolies are never good for the industry and definitely not consumers so these big companies buying up everything they can get their hands on is never a good sign
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Cannot? It's been happening. Almost every E3 for the past few years there's been an announcement of an acquisition and its not even just gaming. Disney, Amazon...US antitrust laws are either way behind or it's agenda is no longer the same.
Publishers may be owned by distributors so long as the market share does not get too high. If it becomes a problem a third party like Nintendo would sue and the courts could either impose restrictions on force divestment.