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EU will likely set back Microsoft’s acquisition of Call of Duty publisher

THE EU Commision is preparing to present a statement containing a list of objections to Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard is the publisher of a number of big series, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush.


Xbox hopes to purchase Activision Blizzard.Credit: Getty

Microsoft had a deal to purchase the publisher and all of its IPs for almost $70billion (£60billion) accepted by Activision Blizzard in 2021.

Countries around the world are now judging whether the acquisition would create a monopoly in the gaming industry.

Some antitrust authorities have already sought to prevent or alter the deal, including those in the US and the UK.

Microsoft will be given a list of changes it will have to make to the deal before the deadline on April 11, 2023.

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If the changes aren’t made, the EU Commission could deliver Microsoft an antitrust warning.

Countries such as Brazil, Serbia, and Saudi Arabia have already cleared the deal.

However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US and the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) in the UK have voiced concerns.

Ever ytime a commission requests changes, the deal is set back further, and there is currently no timeline in sight for the deal to be finalised.

The biggest opponent to the deal is Sony, owner of PlayStation, which fears loss in revenue as a result of the acquisition.

Xbox claims that a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles was offered to the company before the Activision Blizzard purchase was officially announced.

PlayStation apparently denied this, though Nintendo has accepted a similar deal if the acquisition goes through.

Call of Duty is the world’s best-selling series, and takes a large portion of the gaming industry’s revenue.

Xbox claims that it is more interested in Activision Blizzard’s thriving mobile division run by King.

Xbox falls behind the other big gaming companies in terms of mobile gaming, and acquiring IPs such as Candy Crush would help boost this sector for them.

However, Microsoft cannot deny the benefits that purchasing Activision Blizzard’s popular PC and console series would provide.

Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.

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