It has been reported by Reuters that Microsoft will likely receive a statement of objections from the European Union related to their attempted $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard. Reuters anonymous sources familiar with the decision said that the antitrust warning is set to be delivered to Microsoft in the coming weeks, with the case at present having an Apr. 11 deadline.
It has been almost a year since Microsoft announced its intentions to acquire Activision Blizzard, one of the biggest entertainment media acquisitions of all time. Since the announcement, governments and competition authorities across the world have been scrutinizing the deal to assess how competitively fair or unfair it may be. The biggest protestor has been, unsurprisingly, Sony. As the deal passes through some authorities such as Brazil’s CADE, others like the United States’ FTC or the UK’s CMA have started to object.
The objections to the deal have largely revolved around Microsoft’s potential domination in game streaming and mobile gaming. Activision Blizzard own some of the biggest gaming franchises in the world, such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush Saga, Overwatch and more. With complete control over these series, Microsoft would have the power to make future entries in legendary gaming franchises exclusive to the Xbox, the Xbox Cloud Gaming service and Xbox Game Pass.
Microsoft has frequently stated that its acquisition will not be unfair. A deal was offered to Sony and their PlayStation platform for extended Call of Duty contracts, one that PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan deemed “inadequate.” Since then, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer has repeatedly insisted that the iconic shooter series would not be made exclusive to Xbox consoles if the deal was to pass.
How do you feel about the EU’s intentions to object to Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition? How do you feel about the purchase overall? Let us know in the comments below, and keep your eyes on GameLuster for more gaming news.