EU Seeks To Know Whether Microsoft Will Block Peers Following Activision Deal: Report

  • EU antitrust regulators grilled game developers about whether Microsoft Corp MSFT will be incentivized to block rivals' access to "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard, Inc ATVI best-selling games.
  • The EU competition enforcer also asked if Activision's trove of user data would give Microsoft a competitive advantage in developing, publishing, and distributing computer and console games, Reuters reports citing EU documents.
  • EU antitrust regulators are due to make a preliminary decision by November 8, 2022, on whether to clear Microsoft's proposed $69 billion acquisition.
  • Also Read: Activision Blizzard Withheld Raises From Unionizing Workers: Report
  • After its decision in November, the European Commission will likely open a four-month-long investigation, underscoring regulatory concerns about Big Tech acquisitions.
  • EU regulators asked game developers, publishers, and distributors whether the deal would affect their bargaining power regarding the terms for selling console and PC games.
  • Regulators also probed regarding the availability of sufficient alternative suppliers in the market following the deal and lest Microsoft made Activision's games exclusively available on its Xbox, Games Pass, and cloud game streaming services.
  • Regulators quizzed whether exclusivity clauses would reinforce Microsoft's Windows operating system and its position in the video gaming industry.
  • Regulators interrogated the degree of importance of the Call of Duty franchise for distributors of console games, third-party multi-game subscription services on computers, and providers of cloud game streaming services.
  • The U.S. Big Techs and Chinese Big Techs are amid intense scrutiny globally for exploiting their influence over the smaller players.
  • Price Action: MSFT shares traded lower by 0.47% at $245.62 in the premarket on the last check Friday.
Posted In: GovernmentNewsRegulationsTechMediaBriefs
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!