European Commission opens in-depth investigation into Xbox and Activision Blizzard deal

European Commission opens in-depth investigation into Xbox and Activision Blizzard deal

The European Commission is putting Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard under the microscope.

The European Commission announced today that it has opened an in-depth investigation into the business proposal. according to press releaseThe Commission is concerned that the deal “may reduce market competition” for video games and computers. The committee has until March 23, 2023 to make a decision.

Specifically, the committee mentioned the concerns surrounding Call of Duty in the following statement:

In particular, the Committee is concerned that by acquiring Activision Blizzard, Microsoft may block access to the Activision Blizzard console and PC video games, especially high-level and highly successful games (so-called ‘AAA’ games) such as ‘Call from duty’.”

Since officials began looking at the proposed merger, Microsoft has repeatedly shared its intentions to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles. The Latest reassurances from Phil Spencer from Xbox It came just last week that he said that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation “as long as there is a PlayStation to ship”.

In fact, Xbox’s official response to the European Commission’s investigation referred to Call of Duty. In a statement from a Microsoft spokesperson to Tom Warren in The Verge“Sony, as the industry leader, says it is concerned about Call of Duty, but we are committed to making the same game available on the same day on both Xbox and PlayStation,” Microsoft said.

The European Commission’s release also states that it will investigate the impact of a potential acquisition of video game subscription services, such as Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus. Finally, the panel will also investigate whether a Microsoft acquisition would “discourage users from buying non-Windows PCs” if Microsoft integrates “Activision Blizzard Games and Microsoft’s distribution of games via cloud game streaming to Windows”.

The European Commission’s concerns are similar to those of the UK government, which I recently asked for public opinion on this matter. Microsoft’s massive purchase has also come under multiple criticism US SenatorsAnd the New York Cityand the US Department of Justice. Spencer said that during the entire review process Satisfied with the progress of the acquisition.

Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game news and entertainment. He has over six years of experience in the gaming industry with minor lines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine and Lifewire. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.

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