Microsoft Will Offer Concessions Soon to Gain EU Approval for Activision Blizzard Deal, Sources Say

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Microsoft will be offering remedies to EU antitrust regulators in the coming weeks to help ensure that its $69 billion bid for Activision Blizzard goes through as planned, according to sources with Reuters, who have claimed that one such remedy will be a 10-year licensing deal to Sony, which is peeved at the possibility of Call of Duty becoming exclusive to Xbox:

The deadline for the European Commission, which is investigating the deal, to set out a formal list of competition concerns known as a statement of objection is in January. Offering remedies before such a document is issued could shorten the regulatory process.

Microsoft’s remedy would consist mainly of a 10-year licensing deal to Playstation owner Sony, another person with direct knowledge said.

“Ultimately, such a move could secure an early clearance with the European Commission and subsequently be used by the parties before other antitrust agencies,” said Stephane Dionnet, a partner at law firm McDermott Will & Emery.

“However, it remains to be seen whether the active complainants will validate such concessions (in particular in terms of scope) and if behavioural remedies will also be accepted by the CMA and the FTC,” he said, referring to the UK and U.S. antitrust agencies.

Microsoft offered Sony a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation on November 11, according to a report that The New York Times shared last week regarding the Windows and Xbox maker’s latest maneuvers in pressing governments to make Big Tech even bigger.

Microsoft has said that it is acquiring Activision Blizzard so it can “bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone, across every device.”

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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