Brussels Microsoft has made concessions to the EU in exchange for approving its multi-billion dollar acquisition of Activision Blizzard. However, the Commission did not give any details in a statement published on Friday. The competition authorities would now obtain assessments from the competitors before a decision was made by May 22nd.
In order to allay antitrust concerns, Microsoft President Brad Smith promised competitors licenses for the Activision bestseller “Call of Duty”. Some contracts with video game platforms have already been signed. On the other hand, Smith had ruled out breaking up video game maker Activision or selling “Call of Duty”.
Microsoft competes with its “Xbox” games console against the “PlayStation” from the world market leader Sony or the “Switch” from Nintendo. Critics fear that the US group will no longer release popular Activision games such as “World of Warcraft” or “Guitar Hero” for its Japanese rivals after the takeover.
According to insiders, Microsoft has good prospects of getting the green light from the EU for the $69 billion deal with the long-term license agreements it has offered and a few other concessions.
The software group must fear tougher resistance from the CMA, which intends to make a decision by April 26th. In 2021, British antitrust regulators forced Facebook parent company Meta to subsequently sell Giphy, a platform for animated images.
The US agency FTC filed a lawsuit against the Activision takeover in December. Some video game users also went to court. At that time, Microsoft President Smith had to fight through the proceedings to the end.
More: Activision takeover wobbles: British antitrust authorities impose conditions on Microsoft