Microsoft is allegedly set to receive an EU antitrust warning over its acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Last year, Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard in a deal that was estimated to cost approximately £50billion ($68billion USD), however the proposition has faced ongoing criticism.
16 regulatory bodies across the world have launched investigations into Microsoft’s proposed takeover in order to assess its likely impact on competition, including the European Commission.
The European Commission had until January 2023 to outline a formal list of concerns but in November, it was reported that Microsoft was set to offer “remedies” to EU antitrust regulators in response to formal objections.
However, according to a new Reuters report, it seems “likely” that Microsoft will face an EU antitrust warning over the Activision deal, with the European Commission currently drawing up its “statement of objections” to the deal. These objections will need to be addressed before the deal can go ahead.
The EU antitrust watchdog previously set an April 11 deadline for its decision on the deal.
In a statement, Microsoft said: “We’re continuing to work with the European Commission to address any marketplace concerns. Our goal is to bring more games to more people, and this deal will further that goal.”
Earlier this month, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) pushed back plans to release its final report on Xbox’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Last month also saw the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) release a statement saying it hopes to block the deal as it would see Microsoft “gain control of top video game franchises, enabling it to harm competition in high-performance gaming consoles and subscription services by denying or degrading rivals’ access to its popular content”.
At the same time, a collective of gamers took legal action against Microsoft in the hopes of stopping its takeover of Activision.
Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard’s chief commercial officer has said that the company’s acquisition by Microsoft will only “benefit” gamers as well as the US gaming industry.
“We won’t hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if that’s needed,” she added.
In other news, Amazon Game Studios has responded after a wave of Lost Ark players were banned for not playing the game in recent months.