The Activision Blizzard – Microsoft deal investigated by Brussels and London

The Activision Blizzard – Microsoft deal investigated by Brussels and London

The purchase agreement of Activision Blizz by microsoft worth 75 billion dollars is still evaluated by regulatory entities from both sides of the pond. Brussels and the UK Competition and Markets Authority or CMA pplan to conduct a protracted competition investigation into the acquisition, according to Javier Espinoza and Kate Beioley in the Financial Times.

The CMA launched an in-depth investigation this week after Microsoft decided offer no remedy at this stageaccording to two people with knowledge of the situation.

Earlier this month, the CMA became the first global antitrust regulator to sound the alarm over the transaction.giving Microsoft five days to submit commitments that would resolve their concerns or face an extended “phase 2” investigation.

The companies have already been in talks with regulators in Brussels since the deal was announced eight months agoin what is known as the pre-notification stagean indication of how scrupulous the officials will be during the investigation.

Regulators and others involved in the deal expect a protracted EU investigation once Microsoft officially presents its case in Brussels in the coming weeks. People familiar with the EU’s thinking say regulators will take their time examining this deal. due to its size, the nature of the buyer and the growing concerns of rivalsincluding Sony.

“It’s a big deal, a tough deal,” said a person in Brussels familiar with the transaction. “A thorough investigation is needed.”

Why is a thorough investigation needed?

This occurs after that Sony last week accused Microsoft of misleading the games industry and regulators about its commitments to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles. He said that Microsoft had only offered to continue to release Activision Blizzard’s hit game on PlayStation for a limited number of years.

The UK move exposes the problems Microsoft will have to overcome in order to pull off the biggest deal in its history. US tech giant awaits close the deal by the end of June next year, but must first clear regulatory hurdles in countries from New Zealand to the United States.

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Microsoft chose not to offer any remedy to the CMA at this stage because there were no obvious compromises that the UK regulator could acceptaccording to people with knowledge of the situation.

The control body usually does not accept behavioral remedies, such as commitments to maintain access to a product or service, at the end of a phase 1 investigation, except in exceptional circumstances.

A competition attorney with knowledge of the case said it was “almost impossible” that Microsoft offered a remedy that would prevent the investigation from becoming an in-depth antitrust investigation.

The Activision Blizzard deal comes at a time when regulators around the world are concerned that they have not been as hands-on as they should have been regarding previous Big Tech deals.

The rivals of the games say they fear that Microsoft offers compromises that you could easily β€œget away from” and that are not durable. Sony and others want the commission to force Microsoft to offer guarantees that they will be able to access all games “on equal terms and in perpetuity”.

Microsoft has said that will continue to make Call of Duty available on other companies’ game consoles, such as PlayStationinstead of making it an exclusive title on Microsoft’s Xbox. Brad Smith, President and Vice President of Microsofthad previously said “we want people to have more access to games, not less”.

The company could choose to formally engage with the CMA to ensure rivals’ access to the games during the second phase of the investigationwhen an independent panel will review the deal in depth and consider potential solutions to antitrust issues.

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microsoft closed Wednesday’s session at $252.95, after Tuesday’s bearish gap, and the 70-period moving average is above the last three candlesticks. Meanwhile, Ei indicators are mostly bearish.

Activision Blizz it said goodbye this Wednesday at $76.61, also below Tuesday’s bearish gap, and the 70 and 200 period moving averages are surrounding the last two candles.

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