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EU regulators reportedly set to approve Microsoft's Activision buyout

According to sources talking to Reuters

Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard is likely to be approved by EU regulators, according to a report by Reuters. Three people "familiar with the matter" have apparently said that the offer of licensing deals to rivals, such as Nintendo, Nvidia and Sony, have succeeded in addressing EU antitrust concerns.

The sources further told Reuters that it was not expected that Microsoft will be required to sell any assets in order for the deal to be approved. The European Commission are due to make a decision on the deal by April 25th.

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Last month, Microsoft held a press conference after a European Commission hearing at which they announced they'd signed a deal to bring Xbox PC games to Nvidia's cloud service GeForce Now. The deal includes Call Of Duty. Earlier the same day, they announced a deal to bring Call Of Duty games to Nintendo platforms for the next ten years, and Microsoft have reportedly offered a similar deal to Sony.

Microsoft announced their intention to purchase Activision Blizzard for $69 billion last year, but they face concerns from regulators in the US, UK and EU. The US Federal Trade Commission have filed suit to block the deal, with initial hearings planned for August 2023. Provisional findings by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority state that the buyout "could result in higher prices, fewer choices, or less innovation for UK gamers."

As I said previously, I don't understand why time-limited partnerships would soothe antitrust concerns. Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard still puts them in control of an enormous number of video games, and these contracts would only seem to delay the inevitable.

Also, isn't it funny that I was worried about consolidation in 2019, when it's only become so much worse since.

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