We return with a new episode about Microsoft’s eternal battle to acquire Activision Blizzard and have sagas like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Candy Crush in their possession.
Microsoft’s purchase agreement is already now one year old. After seeing the drama that broke out between the FTC, Microsoft, and the EU yesterday, FTC filed a lawsuit against Microsoft to stop negotiations with the EU regulator. We are back to add one more character to this trio.
Now we know that the head of PlayStation had a meeting with the EU’s antitrust chief about the deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.
When Microsoft announced its acquisition of Activision Blizzard in January 2022 for $68.7 billion, we were all surprised. We have never seen such a large number acquire game studios, and it is considered the most expensive purchase agreement for Microsoft. But it all makes sense when we know that it takes some of the most critical studios in the world.
We have Activision with the Call of Duty franchise that sells millions of copies each time, Blizzard with Diablo, WoW, or Overwatch, and what to say about King Entertainment, the creators of the famous Candy Crush. Seeing this repertoire, the US and EU regulators agreed on one thing, Microsoft would dominate the video game industry if it completed the purchase.
Microsoft has two main rivals opposing the purchase of Activision Blizzard: the US FTC and the EU European Commission. But now a return of the old rival, and one of those who started this whole legal battle, Sony.
Specifically, we are referring to Jim Ryan, the CEO of PlayStation, who is now reported to have met with EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager. No details are given about the conversation, except that Jim and Margrethe discussed the Microsoft and Activision agreement. We don’t know how this will affect the badly damaged state of Microsoft, but the situation is not looking good.
Let’s remember that Sony has been at the foot of the canyon when it comes to defending the Call of Duty franchise. This began by ensuring that if Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard, PlayStation users will switch to the rival console, which has undoubtedly influenced the EU.
With that said, we are done with the deadlines imposed by the EU to make the final decisions on the deal. The European Commission will have to decide before April 11.
On the other hand, the UK Competition and Markets Authority have delayed the date of its report. It will publish its conclusion on its investigation of the competition regime on April 26.
Do you think Microsoft can condense to giant regulators to complete the deal before the planned June 2023? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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