Microsoft’s Activision deal to face EU antitrust warning -sources

Image Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Call of Duty-developer Activision Blizzard for $69 billion will likely face an antitrust warning from EU regulators, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters

The sources said that the European Commission is preparing a charge sheet, or a statement of objections, that will include its concerns about the acquisition, which would be the biggest gaming deal in history if it goes through. The regulators will reportedly share the document with the tech giant in the upcoming weeks.

We’re continuing to work with the European Commission to address any marketplace concerns,’’ a spokesperson for Microsoft said. ‘’Our goal is to bring more games to more people, and this deal will further that goal.

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard’s deal was first announced back in January 2022, but it has been facing legal challenges around the world since then. 

Last month, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued Microsoft to block the acquisition, saying it would enable it to ‘’suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.’’

The UK’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) launched its probe into the deal in July, and entered into the second phase of the review in September, saying it could significantly harm competition.

The European Commission, on the other hand, opened its investigation in November, and is expected to share its decision before April 11.

Most recently, Microsoft was sued by a group of 10 video gamers in the United States late last month, saying the company could gain ‘’far-outsized market power’’ while the video game industry could ‘’lose substantial competition’’.

In the meantime, the proposed acquisition has been approved by a number of countries, including Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Chile and Serbia.

Written by Tuna Cetin

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