I sometimes wonder if Phil Spencer and company ever regretted announcing their intention to buy Activision Blizzard King (ABK). After all, since the revelation that the companies were planning the $69 billion transaction, the plan seems far from being finalized.
Besides having the Sony as main adversary to the transaction, MS saw the The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) denies the transaction in the United States, filing a lawsuit against the tech giant in US courts. And now things seem to be getting more complicated in the European Union too: if previously the process was slow, it now seems that the Europeans are preparing to send a document communicating their concern about the emergence of a potential monopoly.
According to information released by Reuters, the European Commission would be about send Xbox an antitrust documentindicating that the agency seems genuinely concerned about a potential threat to free competition in the gaming market.
Microsoft is likely to receive an antitrust warning from the EU over its $69 billion bid for ‘Call of Duty’ maker Activision Blizzard, people familiar with the matter have said, raising the risk of a new challenge of the agreement. https://t.co/bPSqMI6VkS pic.twitter.com/ZwlMzxa9uw
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 17, 2023
According to Video Games Chronicle, behind-the-scenes conversations have suggested that Microsoft would be ready to offer various concessions European Union regulators to skip this step of the process, but the idea doesn’t seem to be going as planned. Apparently, the European Commission is not prepared to accept concessions without formally expressing beforehand its concerns about the possible acquisition of ABK.
In a note, Microsoft said it was “continue to work with the European Commission to address any market concernsadding that their goal is “to bring more games to people and this transaction will contribute to that goal.” The deadline for the European antitrust body’s response to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King is April.