- The remedies Microsoft presented to the European Commission only concern cloud streaming rivals.
- Per Reuters, Sony isn’t mentioned in these documents.
- Unlike the CMA, the European Union is leaning towards greenlighting the acquisition, according to sources close to the deal.
Microsoft’s proposed remedies to get the European Union’s seal of approval surprisingly don’t mention Sony. The Japanese company has been the most significant opposition to the merger since it first became official in January 2022. But, as it turns out, these remedies only focus on antitrust concerns regarding cloud streaming rivals. Recently, Microsoft entered into a 10-year agreement with Boosteroid and Ubitus to address these issues.
The company has been trying its best to convince regulators that the Activision Blizzard acquisition won’t harm the competition. And, its efforts are finally bearing fruit if this Reuters report is true. Sources close to the deal have revealed that Microsoft’s settlement will most likely get approved by the European Commission.
However, the report also states that even though the EU will accept the terms, the CMA might not budge. It is “unclear” whether the UK regulation body will accede to these behavioral remedies or reject them. The CMA did reject the deal outright a month ago, saying it would harm UK gamers. Even though 75% of the players said yes to the merger in a CMA survey, the regulator is still not convinced.
Microsoft may need to include remedies addressing concerns related to the console market to gain the CMA’s compliance. On the other hand, Sony has been perpetually hostile to the merger and hasn’t been very cooperative. It has rejected a Call of Duty deal spanning over a decade, not to mention failing to respond to Activision’s queries in the past as well. Furthermore, the Japanese company only sees the sale of Call of Duty as a viable solution, as per the CMA.
Sony also thinks that Microsoft would sabotage Call of Duty on PlayStation, and the acquisition also gives Xbox an unfair advantage. When you consider how 40% of global PlayStation playtime is spent on shooting games, you can’t fault their concern. PlayStation boss Jim Ryan also wants the merger to fail, so it has hard to see how both parties will reach an agreement at the moment.
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