Report: Xbox offering 10-year deal to PlayStation for EU regulator concessions

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What you need to know

  • Microsoft is currently working to acquire Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion.
  • This deal is being investigated by regulators around the world, including the European Commission. 
  • According to a new report from Reuters, Microsoft is offering a "10-year licensing deal" to assuage concerns from the European Commission.
  • Serbia has just approved the deal, joining Saudi Arabia and Brazil.

As regulators around the world continue to investigate Microsoft's massive pending purchase of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft appears to be willing to offer some concessions to get the deal done. 

According to a report from Reuters (opens in new tab), Microsoft is offering a "10-year licensing deal" to PlayStation in order to appease the European Commission, one of the major regulatory bodies that is currently investigating the purchase of Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion. 

While the report declines to specify what the offer entails, a prior report indicated that Microsoft had offered PlayStation parent Sony a 10-year deal for Call of Duty to remain on PlayStation consoles, an increase on the three-year deal that was previously offered. The European Commission is currently slated to make a final decision by early April 2023, though if concessions are accepted, a decision could happen much earlier.

Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard is currently undergoing regulatory scrutiny, with investigations being conducted by the FTC in the U.S, the CMA in the U.K, and the European Commission, among others. The most recent country to approve the deal is Serbia, which joins Saudi Arabia and Brazil in clearing the purchase with no restrictions.

Another recent report indicates the FTC may be considering filing a suit to block the purchase, though this isn't a guarantee, and it's also possible the FTC may settle to seek concessions, which could be similar to what Microsoft is reportedly presenting the European Commission. 

In response, Microsoft spokesperson stated (via Cade Onder on Twitter (opens in new tab)) that "As we have said before, we are prepared to address the concerns of regulators, including the FTC, and Sony to ensure the deal closes with confidence. We'll still trail Sony and Tencent in the market after the deal closes, and together Activision and Xbox will benefit gamers and developers and make the industry more competitive."

Sony has provided significant pushback to Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard so far, stating that the initial three-year offer was "inadequate" and telling regulators that after completing the deal, Microsoft may use its market position to raise prices on Xbox consoles, games, and Xbox Game Pass.

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Samuel Tolbert

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.