Microsoft wanted EU regulators to smoothen Activision deal

by Rafly Gilang

Rafly Gilang

Rafly is a journalist with growing experience, ranging from technology, business, social, and culture. A holder of the Romanian government scholarship, his writing has been published in several… read more

  • Game Pass subscribers have lots of reasons to be excited about the future.
  • Microsoft just purchased the Activision Blizzard company for $69 billion.
  • This means that lots of Activision titles will soon be coming to the service.
  • The deal isn’t quite going as planned and many parties are displeased.

Microsoft boss Brad Smith arrived at a hearing with EU antitrust regulators to smoothen up the tech giant’s attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard. 

In a document shown to Reuters, Microsoft’s delegation is a roster of 18 executives, including Smith and the Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer. In their defense, the Redmond company believed that the deal could bring more games to more people on more devices than ever.

Activision CEO Robert Kotick represented his company, while Sony, Google, and Nvidia Corp are also present in the hearing. 

However, regulators and experts have been warning that the deal, which almost reaches $69 billion, could harm market competition given the stature of Microsoft and prevent innovations. 

The deal didn’t go as smoothly as Microsoft wanted it to go

In 2022, Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been a really messy affair, as pretty much everyone expected it to be.

Even though the deal has been approved in some countries like Saudi Arabia and Brazil, it is facing hurdles in major markets like the EU and the U.S.

Also, it is being probed in the UK by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) while the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has said flat out that it doesn’t want the deal to go through.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, an independent group of gamers has also sued Microsoft because of the acquisition.

This lawsuit we mentioned has been filed by 10 U.S. gamers, three of whom play exclusively on PlayStation consoles.

Please keep in mind that this is not a class-action lawsuit and that it names only Microsoft as the defendant in the case, not the Activision Blizzard company.

Furthermore, the 45-page document argues that if the acquisition is allowed to proceed, it would have a lot of negative effects on the industry as a whole.

Of course, this includes reduced competition, higher prices, less creativity, decreased output, and Activision games being locked to Microsoft’s own platforms.

Note that the plaintiffs have demanded that Microsoft and Activision’s acquisition contract should be declared null and void and that they should be permanently restricted from going in this direction ever again.

Lots of Activision titles coming to Xbox Game Pass soon

Of course, this means that Microsoft plans to add many of Activision’s games to Xbox Game Pass once the deal has been finalized.

Earlier, Microsoft also announced that it’s signed a 10-year binding deal with Nintendo to bring more Xbox games, including Call of Duty, to the often-overlooked console.

The move could strengthen Microsoft’s position to acquire the famous game studio, the home to some of the most beloved franchises including COD, Overwatch, Crash Bandicoot, Sekiro, and more. 

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, also previously said that they are investing deeply in world-class content, community, and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive, and accessible to all.

What do you think about this deal? Let us know in the comments!

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