Microsoft Reportedly Gearing Up Filing for Planned Activision Blizzard Deal With European Commission

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Microsoft is said to be gearing up a European filing for its planned Activision-Blizzard megadeal.

At least, that’s what financial outlet Seeking Alpha now reports based on a Dealreporter item, which, allegedly, cited sources familiar. According to the report, the Microsoft/Activision deal is now moving toward a filing with Europe's antitrust regulator, the European Commission. The exact timing isn’t known, but apparently, “the antitrust regulator hasn't singled out major issues after a thorough prenotification.”

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Microsoft is said to have told Dealreporter that it remains confident that the deal will be finalized in the company’s FY2023.

This news follows after the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently said that the deal between Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard might lead to competition concerns.

“Following our Phase 1 investigation, we are concerned that Microsoft could use its control over popular games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft post-merger to harm rivals, including recent and future rivals in multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming”, Sorcha O’Carroll, Senior Director of Mergers at the CMA, said.

She added, “If our current concerns are not addressed, we plan to explore this deal in an in-depth Phase 2 investigation to reach a decision that works in the interests of UK gamers and businesses.”

According to Dealreporter, the rumored upcoming review of the European Commission likely won't mirror the UK's Competition and Markets Authority review of the acquisition. The European agency is likely to consider vertical theories of harm in its review. Last month, it was reported that the Commission was looking into whether the deal may shut out rivals.

Other regulators will likely reach a verdict on the mega-deal soon as well. As always, we will keep you updated on this matter.

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What are your thoughts about the transaction? Will Microsoft be able to finalize the deal, and what if it doesn’t? Hit the comments down below.

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