Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard is now being checked by European Commission

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(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced its intent to acquire Activision Blizzard back on Jan. 18, 2022. 
  • The deal is worth almost $70 billion, and requires regulatory approval from numerous countries and authorities. 
  • One of the biggest authorities is the European Commission, which Microsoft has officially notified. 
  • The European Commission now has until Nov. 8, 2022 to approve the deal or trigger a more in-depth investigation.

As Microsoft continues to work to acquire Activision Blizzard, more and more regulatory authorities are being notified in order to examine the deal. 

Microsoft officially notified the European Commission on Friday, meaning that the Commission now has until Nov. 8, 2022 to either approve the deal or trigger a more in-depth investigation. If a "Phase 2" investigation is triggered, then the European Commission will have 90 working days to make a new decision, though this can be extended slightly if any of the parties involved request additional time.

This comes as the deal is already under closer examination from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA raised concerns over possible issues with competition arising from the deal, while Microsoft president Brad Smith stated that the company was ready to work with the CMA over any issues. 

As part of Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard, the company will gain control over major franchises like Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft, as well as new internal development studios like Infinity Ward and Blizzard Entertainment. Microsoft has reiterated its intent to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation, offering Sony three more years of Call of Duty games outside of the already-existing agreements that Sony has in place with Activision Blizzard.

Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment and head of PlayStation, has stated that the terms of this deal would be "inadequate" and has praised the CMA for looking further into the acquisition.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.