Microsoft Activision Agreement: Company Offered to Accept FTC Consent Order on Call of Duty for Rivals Games
Microsoft Chairman Brad Smith said on Tuesday the company had offered to agree to a legally binding consent decree with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to supply Call of Duty games to rivals including Sony and Microsoft. others, for a decade. The development comes as Microsoft seeks approval for its $69 billion (roughly Rs. 5,66,800 crore) takeover bid for video game publisher Activision Blizzard.
Microsoft, owner of the Xbox console and gaming network platform, said in January 2022 that it would buy Activision for $68.7 billion (about Rs 5,64,474 crore) as part of the biggest history game industry contract.
The deal drew criticism from Sony, maker of the PlayStation console, citing maker Xbox’s control over games such as the Call of Duty series.
The FTC and Activision Blizzard did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
In a move of direct criticism, Microsoft this month concluded a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo platforms. The company made the same offer to Sony.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration decided to block Microsoft’s bid to buy Activision, throwing a stumbling block at the tech giant’s plans to rapidly expand its portfolio of popular games and catch up. bigger rivals.
The deal is also the subject of intense scrutiny outside the United States. The European Union opened a full-scale investigation in November, while the EU’s competition watchdog said it would decide by March 23, 2023 whether to clear or block the deal .
Britain’s antitrust regulator announced in September that it would launch a full-scale investigation.
In late November, Microsoft was expected to offer solutions to EU antitrust regulators in the coming weeks to avoid formal objections to the deal, people familiar with the matter said. The deadline for the European Commission to issue a formal list of competition concerns, known as a Statement of Objection, is January.
Without Activision and its variety of games on mobiles, consoles and PCs, Microsoft might struggle to attract users to its budding subscription service to access games. Attracting subscribers has become a priority for large tech companies as traditional sources of growth such as ad sales become less reliable.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
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