Microsoft to likely receive EU antitrust warning over Activision Blizzard purchase

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(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • The EU will likely issue an antitrust warning to Microsoft about its Activision Blizzard purchase.
  • The European Commission is preparing a "statement of objections" that it will share with Microsoft in the coming weeks.
  • The EU set a deadline to make a decision regarding Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard on April 11, 2023.

The European Commission will likely issue a warning to Microsoft regarding the tech giant's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, according to Reuters. Microsoft's $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard has been under heavy scrutiny by several governing bodies, including the United States Federal Trade Commision (FTC), the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and the European Union's European Commission. Now, it appears that Microsoft will receive a list of concerns about the deal.

The European Commission will share a statement of objections with Microsoft that outlines what the governing body believes are issues with the purchase. Reuters stated that the Commission is preparing the charge sheet now and is expected to send it to Microsoft in the coming weeks.

A deadline of April 11, 2023 has been set by the European Commission to reach a decision about Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard. It's generally believed that the EU's decision will affect how the FTC moves forward about the same deal.

"We're continuing to work with the European Commission to address any marketplace concerns. Our goal is to bring more games to more people, and this deal will further that goal," said Microsoft.

It's expected that Microsoft will present several concessionary "remedies" to the EU and CMA. The company has also entered a ten-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo Switch and Steam, which was likely made in an effort to sway regulators. Microsoft President Brad Smith offered to make a similar deal with Sony as well to have the popular gaming franchise remain available on PlayStation.

In November 2022, our Managing Editor Jez Corden argued that the EU's position on the Microsoft Activision Blizzard deal is compromised. His piece focused largely on controversial statements made by Ricardo Cardoso, Deputy Head of Unit Interinstitutional & Outreach in the European Union. The article also serves as a reminder of how complicated deals of this magnitude can become.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).