Microsoft announced the largest acquisition in the history of the gaming industry by buying Activision Blizzard for a whopping $69 Billion at the beginning of 2022. Unfortunately, the technology giant has been slammed with multiple investigations by regulators such as the FTC (USA) and CMA (UK) across the globe since the announcement.
Recently we learned that Google and Nvidia also joined Sony by expressing concerns about the deal to the FTC. We were also told that Microsoft were yet to have any substantive settlement talks with the FTC.
A recent report by Reuters states that Microsoft acquisition deal could face yet another challenge as the European Union (EU) could issue an Antitrust warning to the gaming giant.
As per the report, the EU is preparing a charge sheet, with a statement of objection including concerns regarding the impending deal. This charge will likely be delivered to Microsoft in the coming weeks. Previously, the EU outlined April 11, 2023, as the date for a decision on the acquisition.
Microsoft responds to the upcoming Antitrust warning
Microsoft said in a statement that they are continuing to work with the European Commission and are ready to explain any marketplace concerns regarding the deal. It also added that the aim is to bring more games to more people and this acquisition will bring them closer to this goal.
Unlike the Federal Trade Commission in the USA, the EU has not made any moves towards blocking this deal. The FTC has filed a legal complaint to block the acquisition. According to the regulator, Microsoft will be able to suppress competitors to Xbox consoles, its subscription content and cloud gaming business through this deal.
To smoothen things, Microsoft is expected to offer remedies. They just signed a 10-year deal with Nintendo. As part of this deal, future Call of Duty titles will be available to play on Nintendo consoles for a 10-year duration. Microsoft has offered Sony PlayStation a similar deal, but Sony hasn’t accepted it yet.