The European Commission has tossed an in-depth investigation into the acquisition of the game developer. The committee is concerned that, for example, Activision’s famous Call of Duty games will soon only be playable on Microsoft’s Xbox and no longer on other game consoles or the PC.
The deal, announced early this year, is worth $69 billion. The acquisition of Activision, which is also behind titles such as World of Warcraft and Guitar Hero, would make Microsoft the third-largest gaming firm in the world.
Microsoft previously tried to reassure concerned gamers by saying that Call of Duty would also remain available for the PlayStation from rival Sony. But Sony doesn’t believe that. The head of Sony’s gaming division said in September that Microsoft’s offer is only temporary and inadequate as far as he is concerned.
The European Commission is not convinced either. The European competition watchdog recently conducted a preliminary investigation into the mega takeover by Microsoft. It emerged that the American group would soon not only have the opportunity to limit access to Activision games but also be interested in doing so. Many deals have been made in the gaming sector lately because Microsoft and Sony want to ensure that there are still enough games in the barrel for their game consoles.
Brussels has given itself until 23 March for the new, in-depth investigation. It must then become clear whether the competition authority wants to impose additional conditions for the deal, for example. The European Commission is not the only regulator that does not yet want to give the green light for the takeover. It is also still being looked at in the United States and the United Kingdom.