The Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard is to face an in-depth investigation by the EU before the $68.7 billion takeover.
Despite being approved by Brazilian market regulators, the proposed takeover is yet to be approved in other regions. One such region is the European Union.
The Microsoft and Activision deal is far from complete
The investigations are to ensure the takeover is what’s best for the video game industry. It’s feared, especially from PlayStation boss Jim Ryan’s perspective, that Microsoft will have a firm grip on the monopoly. Especially if Call of Duty is offered as part of the Xbox Game Pass library.
As reported by Eurogamer, in a statement published on the European Commission, an “in-depth” Phase 2 of the investigation is to be initiated as the proposed takeover continues to loom.
It will be discussed whether the Microsoft acquisition will: “significantly reduce competition on the markets for the distribution of console and PC video games, including multi-game subscription services and/or cloud game streaming services, and for PC operating systems”.
Call of Duty could be an Xbox exclusive
Furthermore, concerns will be addressed with Microsoft having the “potential economic incentive” to prevent competitors from accessing Activision Blizzard’s “high-profile and highly successful games,” if the deal should be finished.
However, Microsoft has previously stated that making Call of Duty exclusive to one console would simply not be profitable. Additionally, Microsoft has also stated that the series will always be available on PlayStation, as long as there’s a console to ship to.
Moreover, due to a previously existing deal with Activision Blizzard and Sony, even if the takeover is completed, Call of Duty won’t be coming to Xbox Game Pass for a number of years.
Will the Microsoft and Activision deal be finalised by 2023?
Unfortunately, this won’t be the last we’ll hear of this ever-pending acquisition, which makes us wonder, when will it ever end? Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, expects the deal to be finalised by June 2023.
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Featured Image Credit: Microsoft/Activision/Source: Eurogamer