Thursday, March 30, 2023

Europe would give the green light to the purchase of Activision Blizzard

Microsoft would be close to achieving its first regulatory victory to close the purchase of Activision Blizzard for 68.7 billion dollars. According to Reutersthe European Commission would give the go-ahead to the acquisition of the Californian publisher, considering that the recent agreements of Redmond with Nintendo and NVIDIA would be enough to resolve fears that the transaction is anti-competitive.

The aforementioned report indicates that the information comes from three people with knowledge of the situation, although it would still take several weeks to hear the official opinion. Let’s remember that the European Commission had set March 23 as the deadline to make official whether to approve or reject the purchase, but then postponed it to April 25.

If the data is accurate, Microsoft would have launched a crucial negotiation to complete the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. and if well It is not the only regulatory stumbling block that remains to be resolvedreceiving the approval of the executive arm of the European Union could become a precedent that tips the scales in their favor before the other two organizations that are questioning the agreement today: the US FTC and the British CMA.

The report of Reuters comes to light just a week after Microsoft made a presentation in Brussels defending the purchase of Activision Blizzard. At that time, the Redmonds argued that Xbox had just 20% of the market share in the European Economic Areaand that not even acquiring the publisher of call of duty could reach the power of Sony, which monopolized the remaining 80%.

Agreements with Nintendo and NVIDIA would be crucial to close the purchase of Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, European Commission

For the European Commission, the announcements that, not by chance, Microsoft made prior to its conference in Belgium would have been key. Those in Redmond not only legally committed to carrying call of duty to the Nintendo Switch for 10 years, but also signed an agreement to publish Xbox games for PC on NVIDIA GeForce Now.

Both measures have been cataloged as part of a publicity stunt to counter Sony’s accusations that Microsoft wants it to call of duty be an Xbox exclusive game. However, everything indicates that it would have worked with European regulators, who would no longer put “buts” to the realization of the agreement.

If, indeed, Europe gives Microsoft the OK to buy Activision Blizzard, it will be interesting to see the effects of the decision. But not only before his peers at the CMA and the FTC, but before Sony itself. It would not be impossible, then, for the Japanese to change their minds and sign a pact with those from Redmond to ensure the continuity of call of duty on PlayStation.

Brad Smithpresident of Microsoft, said in Brussels that he walks everywhere carrying an envelope with the copy of the agreement that they sent to Sony before Christmas to ensure the continuity of call of duty on PlayStation. A message clearly addressed to those of Jim Ryan, marking that Xbox does have the desire to finish this extensive novel.

It remains to be seen how the story continues. For now, the CMA hinted that it could force Microsoft to sell call of duty to approve the purchase of Activision Blizzard, something that the Americans have already emphatically rejected. While the FTC has filed a lawsuit to block the acquisition, although it would not have everything to win.

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