Apparently The European Union Will Approve The Microsoft Activision Merger
When the European Commission initiated an in-depth inquiry into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision last year, it looked like a disaster for Microsoft. Nevertheless, it now appears that Microsoft will emerge victorious.
According to Reuters, three sources with knowledge of the European Commission’s position said that Microsoft could get EU antitrust approval on April 25 by making a few additional concessions.
Reuters reports that the European Commission will not require Microsoft to offload major sections of Activision, such as splitting up its Call of Duty division, to gain clearance. According to a source by Reuters, the alternative is for Microsoft to agree to “additional behavioral solutions to appease worries of other parties besides Sony.”
Which might include long-term licensing deals of lucrative titles supplied to competitors. Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment from Ars. Still, the company told Reuters that it is “committed to developing effective and easily enforced solutions that satisfy the concerns of the European Commission.”
Microsoft has historically fought against suggested remedies requiring the combined company to divest the Call of Duty franchise. The United Kingdom told earlier this month that its antitrust approval of the merger could depend on such a sale.
In a statement to Ars, Activision said it wanted to avoid the UK government from forcing the sale of Call of Duty or separating its business.
This week, Bloomberg reported, Microsoft had a secret hearing with the UK’s antitrust agency, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), to propose “feasible remedies” to convince the UK government.
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Sony May Have To Reveal How Much It Spends To Disable Xbox Game Pass Titles
Sony may be compelled to disclose the terms of its PlayStation-exclusive partnerships and the amount it pays for “blocking rights” to prevent games from appearing on competing services like Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass.
Microsoft has sent subpoenas to Sony to compel the business to reveal data, internal documentation, and communications from the PlayStation segment in response to the FTC’s lawsuit to stop Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
According to Kotaku’s reporting, the FTC’s chief administrative judge D. Michael Chappell has ruled in favor of Microsoft’s request for information about Sony’s PlayStation exclusivity agreements. Deals after January 1, 2019.
That charge fee or restrict publishers from adding titles to Xbox Game Pass are included in the scope of the request. Microsoft had previously accused Sony of purchasing “blocking rights” to prevent developers from making their titles available on Xbox Game Pass, so the judge’s ruling is welcome news.
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