Microsoft stunned the gaming industry in January 2022 when it announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, and now, just over a year later, Xbox and PlayStation gamers may come a lot closer to learning whether the deal for bringing “the joy and community of gaming to everyone” will actually happen. According to sources with Reuters, Microsoft is planning to defend its $69 billion bid for Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard in front of EU and national antitrust officials at a closed hearing next week on Tuesday, February 21. The effort is being described as a “last-ditch” one, an implication that Microsoft has been struggling to win officials over and failing to appease the concerns outlined in a statement of objections that was reported last month.
From a Reuters report:
The company asked for the hearing after receiving a statement of objections from the European Commission warning about the possible anti-competitive effects of the deal.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the oral hearing.
The Xbox maker announced the Activision Blizzard acquisition in January last year to help it compete better with leaders Tencent and Sony, but has run into regulatory headwinds in Europe, Britain and the United States.
Microsoft is expected to offer remedies after the hearing.