Microsoft seeks to promote Activision deal at EU market competition hearing

Microsoft seeks to promote Activision deal at EU market competition hearing

Microsoft seeks to promote Activision deal at EU market competition hearing

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Microsoft Chairman Brad Smith will seek to convince EU antitrust regulators in a closed-door hearing on Tuesday that the US giant’s $69 billion (nearly Rs 5.71800 crore) bid software on Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard will drive competition.


Smith will lead a delegation of 18 senior executives, including Phil Spencer, chief executive of Microsoft Gaming, while Activision will be represented by its CEO Robert Kotick, according to a European Commission document seen by Reuters.

The hearing will allow Xbox maker Microsoft to gauge the mood of senior EU and national competition officials and European Commission lawyers ahead of the submission of remedies to address antitrust concerns.

“I think we’re going to make it clear that our acquisition of Activision Blizzard will bring more games to more people on more devices and platforms than ever before,” Smith told reporters as he walked into the hearing.

Microsoft was willing to address concerns about Call of Duty licensing deals similar to Nintendo’s 10-year deal and regulatory commitments, Smith added, without providing further details.

Microsoft announced the acquisition of Activision in January last year to take on leaders Tencent and Sony, but ran into regulatory headwinds in Europe, Britain and the United States.

Sony, which wants the deal blocked, sent in its games chief Jim Ryan.

Alphabet’s Google and chip designer and computer company Nvidia, which owns a games business, also participated in the hearing.

“The European Commission has asked for our advice as part of its investigations into this matter. We will continue to cooperate in all processes, upon request, to ensure that all views are considered,” a spokesperson said. word of Google.

Nvidia declined to comment. The European Game Developers Federation, which said the deal will allow Microsoft to challenge Apple, Google and Tencent, is one of the participants.

Video game distributor Valve, video game publisher Electronic Arts and the German competition watchdog and its peers in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and in Sweden will also participate in the event.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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