Further hurdles for $68 billion dollar deal
New roadblocks will reportedly be placed in the path of Microsoft in its bid to purchase publisher Activision Blizzard — According to a report by Reuters, the European Commission (EU) is preparing to state its objection to the deal in the coming weeks, adding further strife to Microsoft’s acquisition plans.
As those who have been following our reporting will know, Microsoft requires the favor of several global regulatory bodies in order to complete the purchase, and is already mired in a lawsuit with the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which itself is against the sale taking place. While Microsoft will be able to make suggestions to placate the bodies, the whole process has already turned bitter at points, helping matters none.
The commission declined to respond to Reuters report, though a Microsoft representative said of the story: “We’re continuing to work with the European Commission to address any marketplace concerns. Our goal is to bring more games to more people, and this deal will further that goal.”
The comment pursues Microsoft’s line that it is not seeking to form a monopoly with the purchase of Activision Blizzard, a dogged mantra that it is following in the face of concerns that billion-dollar franchises such as Call of Duty may become Xbox exclusives at some point in the future. Microsoft’s attempts to assuage these concerns have been relatively futile as of late.
The Microsoft/FTC lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial this summer, with both parties free to appeal whatever the outcome. Microsoft will then have to placate the EU Commission and other bodies in similar fashion, which makes the Activision Blizzard purchase — a deal that I cannot see MS backing away from — a long, long time in the making.