EU Deepens Investigation Into Microsoft Acquisition Of Activision Blizzard

The European Commission opened an in-depth investigation into Microsoft’s plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $69 billion.

The issue at hand--fears the deal may "significantly reduce competition."

The Commission in a statement said concerns have surfaced around lessening competition in several markets, including console and PC games, subscription and cloud game streaming services, as well as for PC operating systems.

Microsoft announced the deal in January. Executives at the company believe Activision’s lineup of games will help it compete better with Tencent, Sony, among others.

“The Commission is concerned that the transaction may reduce competition in 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,” the EU stated.

The commission pointed to high-profile games like "Call of Duty." The concern is that by acquiring Activision Blizzard, Microsoft may restrict access to Activision Blizzard's console and PC video games.

The majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review, according to the EU document. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval in Phase I or to start an in-depth investigation in Phase II.

The EU initially began looking at Microsoft’s Activision acquisition in September. It set a provisional deadline of today to approve it or signal a more in-depth review.

Next story loading loading..