Microsoft Said to Have Offered No Remedies in EU Antitrust Review of Activision Deal

Gaming

Microsoft’s has not offered any remedies to EU antitrust regulators reviewing its proposed $69 billion (nearly Rs. 5,71,400 crore) bid for Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard ahead of an expected full-scale EU probe, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The US software company is betting on the acquisition to help it compete better with leaders Tencent and Sony, with the latter being a critic of the deal.

The European Commission, which is scheduled to finish its preliminary assessment of the deal by November 8, said its website was up to date. The site showed that Microsoft had not provided concessions.

Microsoft said it continues to work with the Commission on the next steps and to address any valid marketplace concerns, such as those voiced by Sony.

“Sony, as the industry leader, says it is worried about Call of Duty, but we’ve said we are committed to making the same game available on the same day on both Xbox and PlayStation,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Companies typically do not offer remedies during the EU preliminary review when they know regulators subsequently intend to open a four-month long investigation.

Earlier, it was reported that the EU antitrust regulators are asking games developers whether Microsoft will be incentivised to block rivals’ access to Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard’s best-selling games, according to an EU document seen by Reuters. 

The EU competition enforcer also asked if Activision’s trove of user data would give the US software giant a competitive advantage in the development, publishing and distribution of computer and console games, the EU document shows.

The planned acquisition, the biggest in the gaming industry, will help Microsoft better compete with leaders Tencent and Sony.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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