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EU Regulators Extend Deadline to Decide on Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Deal

EU Regulators Extend Deadline to Decide on Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Deal - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 March 2023 / 6,663 Views

The European Union regulators, the European Commission, in a filing posted today has decided to extend its deadline for its decision on Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

The deadline has been extended by 10 days to April 25. This is the second time the European Commission has extended its deadline.

Microsoft has been facing scrutiny by the European Commission, as well as from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US and the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) in the UK. The deal has confirmed to have been approved in BrazilChileSaudi Arabia, and Serbia.

EU Regulators Extend Deadline to Decide on Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Deal

The CMA last month in its provisional conclusion concluded the deal could put Microsoft in an even stronger position in cloud gaming and could stifle competition in the growing market, which in turn could harm UK gamers who are unable to afford consoles. It could also weaken the rivalry between Xbox and PlayStation in the video game console market and the CMA says this could also harm UK gamers.

The FTC in December announced it was looking to sue to block Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard as it would give Microsoft the ability to suppress its competitors in gaming. The FTC pointed to Microsoft's record of acquiring and using gaming content to suppress content from rival consoles, including its acquisition of the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, ZeniMax Media.

To mitigate some of the concerns from regulators Microsoft has signed a 10-year partnership with Nvidia to bring Xbox games on PC to the Nvidia GeForce Now cloud gaming service. If Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal is approved it will bring games from Activision Blizzard to GeForce Now, including Call of Duty.

Microsoft has also signed a "binding 10-year legal agreement" with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty games to Nintendo platforms if Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition is approved.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer this week stated the company will treat Call of Duty the same way it does with Minecraft keeping the game multiplatform and available on as many platforms as possible.

"We want to increase the places where people can play Call of Duty," said Spencer at the time. "I think a little bit like Minecraft. I think when we acquired Minecraft, our monthly active player base was 20-30 million. I'm doing this from memory, but I think that's about the size Minecraft was. And I think it's about maybe 120 million monthly players on Minecraft."

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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EpicRandy (on 01 March 2023)

Some said MS were corrupting Regulator other said it is Sony but the reality is clearly that it is journalist that corrupt regulator and thrive on extension of the story XD.

  • +4
mjk45 EpicRandy (on 01 March 2023)

The truth is its people taking sides, the regulator will be judged corrupt by one side or the other, and there will be some who even if they get the outcome they desire will still point to them being corrupt after all just doing their job has seen them labeled so.
I feel corrupt is the wrong word since it implies they have been bought, what makes this case stand out media wise is the extra interest that the sheer spread and breadth of modern gaming has brought to this case and the addition of age old console wars rhetoric into the usual dry discourse surrounding consolidation and its politics . So of course the Media is going to be over it especially gaming media.

  • +2
Juanita (on 02 March 2023)

Mega corporations must be stopped, otherwise they will soon determine our entire lives.

  • +1
mjk45 Juanita (on 04 March 2023)

We may have past soon.

  • 0
Jumpinbeans (on 02 March 2023)

2023 : regulators block deal unless Microsoft divest portions of ABK. Microsoft refuses and walks away from deal.
2024 : Microsoft does a reevaluation of its gaming division in light of developments. Announces end of production of Xbox console and divests hardware business. Game pass remains but focuses now on pc alternative to steam. Xbox game studios start producing games for PlayStation and Nintendo. Sony ends PlayStation plus game library and raises prices for subscriptions. Nintendo remains Nintendo.

Results - Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo share holders a win. Consumers lose.

  • -3
BonfiresDown Jumpinbeans (on 02 March 2023)

Not sure if serious.

  • +1
Manlytears Jumpinbeans (on 02 March 2023)

You real dude... I mean, this is a joke right!?

  • +1
tslog (on 02 March 2023)
  • -12