European Union antitrust regulators are set to give their approval for Microsoft’s controversial Activision Blizzard acquisition for $69 billion next week, most likely on May 15, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke to Reuters.
The European Commission first launched its investigation into the proposed deal in November last year, and it reportedly issued the tech giant an antitrust warning this January over worries that it could significantly harm competition in the console and PC games market.
However, other anonymous sources with direct knowledge of the issue told Reuters in March that the regulators were anticipated to approve the acquisition following Microsoft’s licensing deals with various cloud streaming companies, such as Nvidia, Boosteroid, and Ubitus.
The tech giant also has agreements with other companies including Steam-owner Valve Corp and Nintendo for the release of Activision-owned Call of Duty on their platforms if the acquisition is finalized.
While the European Commission hasn’t commented on Reuters’ report, it is expected to announce its final decision by May 22.
The Competition and Markets Authority of the United Kingdom blocked the acquisition last month to protect innovation and competition in the console gaming industry. Citing similar concerns, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States also sued Microsoft to block the deal last December.
Meanwhile, the proposed acquisition has been approved by a total of 7 countries so far, which are Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Serbia, Chile, Japan, South Africa and Ukraine.