EU Expected To Join NVIDIA, Google, Sony And FTC In Opposing Microsoft's Activision Deal
This whole Microsoft-buys-Activision deal is looking less and less likely by the week. Last week, NVIDIA and Google spoke up against the purchase, and the week before that, Microsoft had to revise its response to the FTC to remove remarks that recommended the outright destruction of the commission. Now, a new challenge may arise from the EU, according to Reuters.
The news agency reports that Microsoft is "likely to receive an EU antitrust warning" against its attempt to purchase Activision-Blizzard. Like proper journalists, Reuters contacted the EU antitrust watchdog for comment, but they declined.
For its part, the EU is readying a "statement of objections" that will elaborate on its specific concerns with the purchase. Microsoft is expected to make concessions to allay those concerns, but that can't happen until the Union actually enumerates them. That agency is scheduled to make a decision on the deal—whether or not to grant regulatory approval—by April 11th.
Reuters also reports that the deal has already received regulatory approval in Brazil, Serbia, and Saudi Arabia. That's fair enough, but the bulk of Microsoft's business happens in the US and Western Europe, and the deal has already faced resistance from both UK regulators as well as the US FTC—not to mention the group of gamers that are suing to block it.
Microsoft says it needs this purchase to complete to compete against game console market rival Sony as well as against Chinese gaming industry behemoth Tencent. The company points to its relatively low market share, as well as its non-existent presence in the mobile gaming market. Activision-Blizzard also includes the oeuvre of King Games, which was at one time one of the largest mobile game publishers in the world.