Microsoft could consider offering Sony a 10-year licensing deal for Call Of Duty to convince European Union regulators to approve their acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Reuters reported that sources familiar with the agreement claimed a proposal could come before the European Commission’s January deadline for their statement of objection, an official list of the agency’s concerns about the $68.7bn (£57bn) buyout deal could affect competition in the gaming industry. If Microsoft demonstrates a willingness to make concessions and ease the EU regulator’s competition concerns, that is likely to speed up the regulator’s decision-making process.
“Sony, as the industry leader, says it’s worried about Call of Duty,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters, “but we’ve said we’re committed to delivering the same game.” on the same day on both Xbox and PlayStation. We want people to have more access to games, not less.” The Microsoft deal is still under investigation EU, WE and UK competition regulators due to concerns about its impact on the industry, consumer choice and burgeoning technologies such as game streaming services.
Last week, a report surfaced alleging that the US Federal Trade Commission could issue a antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft over the Activision Blizzard deal. Three anonymous sources claiming to have inside knowledge of the potential legal challenge suggested that such a lawsuit could happen as early as December. Two of the sources clarified that the The FTC commissioner has yet to vote on whether to sue Microsoft over the deal or meet with Microsoft’s attorneys. Activision Blizzard’s later executive vice president of corporate affairs tweeted that the company will not “hesit to fight to defend” the acquisition agreement.
I will continue to bring you updates as the Microsoft deal progresses through the various competition regulators around the world.
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