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Microsoft’s takeover of Activision gets new elements



Microsoft is trying to secure the takeover of Activision Blizzard slowly but surely. Will the EU approve the acquisition?

For Microsoft, the battle is happening on all fronts. Its proposed takeover of the Activision Blizzard studio, to the tune of 70 billion dollars, is still under the inquisitive eye of several countries. Thus, the firm must defend itself against accusations of anti-competitive practices on American but also European soil, through the British courts.

In the United States, Microsoft was to be auditioned by the Federal Trade Commission and must still go to court in the near future. In order to best prepare for this trial which will change the course of video game history, Microsoft has requested access to certain very important documents… from Sony’s file. The parent company of PlayStation, obviously opposed to this motion, has just lost one of its fights.

Microsoft has just obtained permission from a judge to consult certain private documents, including exchanges between PlayStation and regulators since the beginning of the case, but also the documents attesting to how Sony deals with its own exclusives since 2019. It is therefore with an undeniable advantage that Microsoft is preparing its response for the first time in months.

Microsoft just found the Armory

Players are aware that Sony is firmly opposed to the acquisition of Activision Blizzard since it could, according to the company and several authorities, harm fairness within the video game industry. In question, the Call of Duty franchise, an important financial windfall for the PlayStation ecosystem. Sony is therefore afraid of being deprived of this part of the market, a question on which Microsoft wants to be reassuring since the start of the takeover.

Access to these documents will therefore teach the Xbox team how PlayStation has approached regulators, what arguments have been put forward by the firm to counter this acquisition and therefore what keys to have with you to best answer them when going through the courts. Microsoft may also revise (or not) its intentions downward towards its own exclusives, while aligning itself with what PlayStation already practices on its consoles.

The European Commission about to accept?

In Europe, the hour of the verdict is approaching… but has just been further delayed. Indeed, the date has just changed to April 25 after an interview with representatives from Sony, Microsoft, Activision and Google took part in a meeting of the utmost importance in Brussels. However, Microsoft leaves confident. According to the latest news, the European Union would be more inclined to accept the agreement proposed by the studio to keep Call of Duty on other platforms for at least 10 years. Microsoft speaks:

We are committed to providing effective and easily applicable solutions that address the concerns of the European Commission.

The company even confides to the media Reuters: “our long-term commitment to grant 100% equal access to Call of Duty to Sony, Steam, NVIDIA and others preserves the benefits of the agreement for gamers and developers and increases competition in the marketplace.”

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