EU Regulators Question Microsoft Over Its $69B Activision Deal

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 2 min read
EU Regulators Question Microsoft Over Its $69B Activision Deal
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The EU Commission is seeking to know as to how Microsoft will gain a competitive edge over other small players with its Activision acquisition. It seeks to know how it could impact the gaming market going ahead.

Antitrust regulators in the European Union have been asking for more details on Microsoft Corp’s bid for computer games developer Activision Blizzard. The regulators have reached out to rivals and other market players as they have a closer look at Microsoft $69 billion deal.

In the latest development, the European Commission has sent different questionnaires to video game developers, distributors, and publishers, providers of cloud services as well as competing operating systems. The EU has been formally notified of the planned takeover last week along with a Nov. 8 deadline on whether it will refer the deal for further probe.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has already increased the scrutiny of this transaction. They are now conducting an extended review after finding out that the deal could lead to “a substantial lessening of competition” in the gaming console, cloud market, and multi-game subscription. As per the details accessed by Bloomberg:

“The questions sent by the commission – a normal part of deal scrutiny – focus on markets, their main rivals, the effects the deal could have on the behavior of gamers and prices, and on Microsoft’s position more generally”.

The EU regulator also asked whether Activision’s massive user data would give Microsoft a competitive advantage in “developing, publishing and distributing computer and console games”. The European Commission could launch a detailed investigation outlining its concerns over the Big Tech acquisition.

Activision currently has some very popular franchises like World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Guitar Hero, under its belt. By acquiring Activision, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company. Besides it would also boost Microsoft’s roster of titles for the cloud game streaming service Game Pass.

EU Review of Microsoft Deal Is Progressing

As the news break out, tech giant Microsoft came out suggesting that the EU review has been progressing at its open pace. It added:

The EU review “is progressing in line with the expected regulatory schedule and process” and that the company is “confident that the acquisition will close in fiscal year 2023.”

The EU Commission has so far declined to comment on the matter. In addition to the EU Commission, the Federal Trade Commission is also examining the deal.

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