Microsoft and Activision Blizzard Prepare to Defend $69 Billion Bid at EU Antitrust Hearing

  • 15-02-2023 |
  • Jackson Matthew

Microsoft is making a last-ditch effort to defend its USD 69 billion bid for "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard at a closed hearing on February 21. The U.S. software giant has been facing opposition from the European Commission, Britain, and the United States due to possible anti-competitive effects of the deal. Microsoft has to seek remedies to convince the competition enforcers.

The statement of objections from the European Commission warned about potential anti-competitive effects of the deal due to Microsoft's already dominant position on various gaming platforms such as Xbox One, Windows PC, and Nintendo Switch. As a result, Microsoft has proposed several remedies to meet competition standards set by the European Union enforcers. This includes expanding Xbox Live services across multiple platforms and introducing cross-platform play with competitors like Sony's PlayStation 4 console. Moreover, Microsoft recently struck a 10-year deal with Nintendo that will make "Call of Duty" available on their consoles while allowing users access to more exclusive content related to the game via Xbox Live services on those devices.

Despite these measures put forth by Microsoft in response to competition concerns raised by regulators around Europe, Sony CEO Jim Ryan still met with EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager last month with hopes of blocking this merger altogether due to his company's fear that it could prove detrimental to for the long term if allowed through without any further conditions being imposed upon it by authorities here or elsewhere around the world.

Ultimately though, all eyes will be on February 21st when both sides present their arguments before European antitrust bodies - hoping that regulators come away convinced either way enough so that this matter can finally be put behind them once and for all. It remains uncertain whether or not this merger between two giants within the video gaming industry will end up being approved, but one thing is certain: we won't have much longer until we find out.

In conclusion, Microsoft is preparing for yet another showdown against EU antitrust authorities regarding its attempted acquisition of “Call Of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard at an upcoming hearing next week. The US software giant faces serious opposition from rival companies such as Sony, who worry about what effect this would have on their own business interests. Until then, however, all we can do is wait patiently until February 21st, when both parties finally get a chance to confront each other face–to–face over the issue once again before the final verdict is rendered shortly afterward.

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