Microsoft-Activision Deal Face More Regulatory Opposition, This Time From EU

  • The European Commission sent a formal list of concerns to Microsoft Corp MSFT about its proposed $69 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard Inc ATVI, marking an escalation in the regulatory body’s probe of the deal.
  • The commission conducted an in-depth probe with a decision deadline of April 11, Bloomberg reports.
  • The statement of objections sets out potential reasons for blocking the deal pending forthcoming remedies.
  • The commission had concerns that Microsoft might “foreclose access to Activision Blizzard’s console and PC video games, especially to high-profile and highly successful games” when it initiated the investigation last November.
  • A preliminary probe highlighted that the deal could “significantly reduce competition on the markets for the distribution of console and PC video games.” 
  • Microsoft’s Activision takeover requires approval from 16 jurisdictions, with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority, and the European Commission representing the most significant hurdles. 
  • In January, Alphabet Inc’s GOOG GOOGL Google and Nvidia Corp NVDA shared concerns over the deal with the FTCfueling regulatory worries.
  • Google and Nvidia joined Sony Group Corp SONY in raising issues with the $69 billion deal, which the FTC opposed in December.
  • Price Action: MSFT shares traded higher by 0.57% at $254.19 in the premarket on the last check Thursday.

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