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Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of massive Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard could potentially hit another snag, with Reuters reporting that EU regulators will issue an antitrust warning sometime soon.
According to Reuters, the European Commission is preparing a “Statement of Objections,” which will clarify the regulator’s various issues regarding the agreement. The European Union’s watchdog has until April 11 to make a decision on an Activision Blizzard buyout, but the Statement of Objections is expected to be sent out within the next few weeks. The European Commission declined to comment on the Reuters report, while Microsoft insists it will do what needs to be done to address the IAEA’s concerns.
“We continue to work with the European Commission to address any market concerns. Our goal is to bring more games to more people, and this deal will further that goal.”
Last month, the US Federal Trade Commission formally sued Microsoft to block the Activision Blizzard deal, saying it would “enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox game consoles, rapidly growing subscription content and cloud gaming business.” By comparison, the situation with the European Union appears somewhat less tense — while the European Commission will no doubt demand more concessions, it’s not taking Microsoft to court. Analysts still expect the Acti-Blizz deal to close, but not before regulators wring plenty of promises from Microsoft.
In addition to the merger-related wrangling, Activision Blizzard faced a series of lawsuits and other legal actions in the wake of a suit brought by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) alleging widespread gender discrimination and sexual harassment on the call. Publisher is obligated. You can get more details about this unfolding story here.
what do you think? As we head into 2023, do you think the Activision Blizzard deal will be done this year? Or will it all fall apart?