Brussels opens an investigation into the takeover of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft
Microsoft announced the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard for just over 86 billion Canadian dollars in January.
It is the turn of Brussels to open an in-depth investigation into the proposed takeover of the American video game publisher Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft. The European Commission has ruled that the US$69 billion (C$86.4 billion) deal could “significantly reduce” competition in this market.
The Commission explained that it was particularly concerned that Microsoft could lock down access to Activision-Blizzard's video games for consoles and PCs, including the famous Call of Duty, and that the company would be tempted to put in place strategies for the eviction of competing distributors of video games for consoles.
The European executive, which ensures compliance with competition in the European Union, believes that such strategies could lead to higher prices, lower quality and reduced innovation.
The Commission also fears a reduction in competition in the market for PC operating systems. She believes that people might be discouraged from buying PCs that don't run Windows, Microsoft's system, since it would be more attractive with access to games from Activision-Blizzard. /p>
The Commission has announced that it will carry out an in-depth investigation into the effects of the operation, in order to determine whether its initial fears are confirmed.
It now has a period of 90 days, until March 23, 2023, to make a decision.
In a sector video game in full consolidation, Microsoft, itself a distributor of games on its Xbox console, announced in January the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard. This transaction will propel the company to third place worldwide in this industry, behind Chinese Tencent and Japanese Sony, maker of the PlayStation.