Microsoft will make last-ditch push to defend Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard’s attempted acquisition for $69 billion
Microsoft will make a last-ditch effort to defend its $69 billion (roughly Rs. 5,71,800 crore) bid for “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard before domestic and European antitrust authorities in a closed-door hearing on February 21, in the United States. software company said Tuesday.
The company asked to be heard after receiving a statement of objections from the European Commission warning of the possible anti-competitive effects of the agreement.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the hearing.
The Xbox maker announced the acquisition of Activision Blizzard in January last year to help it better compete with leaders Tencent and Sony, but has come up against regulatory headwinds in Europe, in Great Britain and the United States.
Microsoft should offer solutions after the hearing.
It struck a 10-year deal with Nintendo to make “Call of Duty” available on Nintendo consoles, a remedy aimed at winning over competition officials but which has been criticized by Sony, which wants the deal blocked.
Last month, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan met with EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager to discuss Microsoft’s bid for Activision Blizzard.
The US Federal Trade Commission has taken legal action to block the deal while UK regulators have also raised concerns, arguing it would give Microsoft’s Xbox exclusive access to Activision games, leaving Nintendo consoles and Sony’s PlayStation in the cold.
A previous report suggested that Microsoft argued the deal would benefit both gamers and game companies, offering to sign a legally binding consent decree with the FTC to supply Call of Duty games to rivals including Sony, for a decade.
FTC administrative law judge Michael Chappell will rule on the deal after hearings scheduled for August 2023.
The deal is currently under scrutiny within the European Union, which must decide by March 23 whether to allow or block the deal.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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