The European Commission has issued a statement of objections to Microsoft regarding its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, outlining conditions that must be met for the deal to be approved. The move follows similar reservations raised by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and is part of an ongoing investigation into potential monopolies in the video game and cloud gaming sectors. However, some analysts suggest that following EU recommendations could weaken efforts by American regulators to block the takeover. The acquisition can only go ahead if it is approved by 16 different authorities around the world, including competition watchdogs in Europe and America.
Europe Raises Concerns Over Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard
Europe has presented Microsoft with a list of conditions that must be met for the tech giant to proceed with its acquisition of video game company, Activision Blizzard. According to Bloomberg, the European Commission issued a statement last Tuesday outlining reservations regarding the impact on both cloud gaming and video games industries.
The announcement in January 2022 sparked regulatory scrutiny from authorities around the world. While this latest development is not necessarily considered an official challenge by Europe, it provides reasons why they may block or place restrictions on Microsoft’s $69 billion deal. The investigation will conclude on April 11th when Europe decides whether or not to authorize the takeover.
The potential implications are more concerning for American regulators at FTC who filed a complaint against the acquisition in December 2022 as their efforts could be hampered if EU recommendations improve Microsoft’s plans enough to satisfy them without running afoul of U.S regulations . This would allow them take over before any formal decision was made by FTC which can weaken their case further down line.
Sixteen Authorities Must Approve Takeover
To complete this merger between two leading companies requires approval from sixteen different competition authorities worldwide including CMA (UK), European Union and FTC in US among others.. In March/April timeframe there were extensions granted due diligence process indicating continued focus upon antitrust concerns raised during review period
Potential Monopoly Gives Rise To Concerns
If approved, Microsoft would have significant power within both cloud gaming and video game markets estimated at over $200bn; potentially giving rise competitional monopoly position triggering serious concerns among competitors.As such ,FTC opposes it citing harm caused other players operating within these sectors.However,Micorosft points out Sony & Nintendo already hold considerable share thus no rationality justify blocking current deal while also assuring long term viability across ecosystem through distribution agreements signed between Valve/Nintendo&Promising No constraints placed licenses owned only under Xbox banner.
A similar partnership proposal was suggested towards Sony but refused immediately highlighting opposition present amongst some key industry players .