Last November, the European Commission announced that it has opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. EC was concerned that the proposed acquisition may reduce competition in the markets for the distribution of console and PC games.
Today, Reuters reported that EC may soon send Statement of Objections to Microsoft.
What is Statement of Objections?
A Statement of Objections is a formal step in the Commission’s investigations into suspected violations of EU antitrust rules. The Commission informs the parties concerned in writing of the objections raised against them. The parties can then examine the documents in the Commission’s investigation file, reply in writing and request an oral hearing to present their comments on the case before representatives of the Commission and national competition authorities.
Microsoft is confident about getting approval for this deal by June 2023. “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,” said Microsoft.
In response to the EC’s Statement of Objections, Microsoft may offer remedies like legal agreement to release Call of Duty and other major games on competing platforms like Sony PlayStation.
Last month, Microsoft announced that it has signed a deal with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo Switch, if the acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through. This deal will be valid for 10 years. Microsoft also announced that it will keep Call of Duty on Steam game store.