The UK reportedly expects to oppose Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard

News Summary:

  • The company hopes to persuade both the UK and the European Union to accept its concessions and approve the deal because it believes the European Commission is amenable to potential remedies.

  • “Microsoft’s legal team also anticipates opposition from the British antitrust authority to the transaction.”

This, in turn, is said to make it simpler to come to an agreement with the FTC before a trial that is scheduled for later this year. Nevertheless, it is asserted that any one of the three agencies could pressure the others into objecting to the acquisition.

According to a recent report, the FTC sued in an effort to convince EU regulators not to accept a settlement that would have approved the deal.

In an effort to stop Microsoft from paying $69 billion for Activision Blizzard, which the FTC claims would allow the company to “suppress competitors” to its Xbox console, subscription content, and cloud gaming businesses, the FTC announced plans to sue Microsoft in December.

In addition to their other worries, the FTC and Sony have expressed concern that the agreement, which would see Microsoft acquire ownership of the Call of Duty franchise, which Sony has deemed “irreplaceable,” could significantly harm PlayStation’s ability to compete.

Microsoft and Activision have argued in their responses to the FTC’s complaint that their merger would be procompetitive and advantageous to consumers by increasing the accessibility of the Call of Duty publisher’s games.

Microsoft recently revealed that it had offered Sony a 10-year, legally binding contract to release every new Call of Duty game on the PlayStation the same day it is released for Xbox in an effort to allay regulatory concerns.

There haven’t been “substantive” settlement discussions with Microsoft regarding the proposed acquisition, the FTC stated earlier this month. Hearings scheduled for August 2023 will determine whether the case is tried.