EU launches proper investigation into Activision Blizzard acquisition

The European Commission has announced an in-depth investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. She was “concerned that the proposed acquisition could reduce competition in the console and PC distribution markets.”

The European Commission has 90 days from this announcement to make a final decision on the acquisition. Until then, the deal remains on hold. Elsewhere, both UK and US regulators are yet to make a decision, although the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has raised concerns.

Curious about the Modern Warfare 2 campaign? They actually go to Europe with it. Crazy, right?

As for the specific issues the European Commission has, it boils down to Microsoft potentially stopping access to Blizzard games on competing platforms. It’s also concerned that it could adversely affect multi-game subscriptions and cloud game streaming on other platforms.

The official statement makes special mention of Call of Duty, which is a particularly sore point. The Commission is concerned that “Microsoft could bar access to Activision Blizzard’s console and PC video games, particularly high-profile and highly successful games (so-called ‘AAA’ games) such as ‘Call of Duty’.”

It’s worth noting that Microsoft has made assurances to its PlayStation user base, but Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has come forward and expressed his displeasure with the assurances from the mega-corporation.

A final worrying note from the European Commission concerns the PC platform, as it believes the deal could make it harder for rival PC operating system vendors to compete with Windows. This is done through Activision Blizzard’s game library paired with Microsoft’s game distribution service to PCs via cloud game streaming.

How is Activision Blizzard reacting to this development? Activision Blizzard’s CEO posted a statement addressing the development on Activision Blizzard’s investors page. While acknowledging the European Commission’s decision and Blizzard’s intention to continue working with the commission, they cite examples of regions like Brazil that have agreed to the deal to offset the news.

What do you think of all this? It looks like we still won’t see this gargantuan deal closed any time soon. Do you think Activision Blizzard and Microsoft can convince the EU to agree to the deal? Let us know below! EU launches proper investigation into Activision Blizzard acquisition

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