The soap opera examining the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is full of twists and turns, especially in Europe. Indeed, while the European Commission began its investigations a few weeks ago, Microsoft had time to be targeted by Sony, then to retaliate and finally to reaffirm its position on the question of the exclusivity or otherwise of Call of Duty. Today, new information from Europe reaches us.
The European Commission should give its verdict in March 2023 too
Microsoft had until the night of October 31 to defend its acquisition proposal to the European Commission, but Reuters sources say the US giant did not go as far as requested.
We already knew that the European Commission had to decide by November 8 at the latest on this historic redemption of 69 billion, and everything leads us to believe that it will formalize a second phase of investigation.
This kind of event is quite common in the industry and, as Reuters reminds us, companies generally do not propose corrective measures during the preliminary examination of the European Commission when they know that the regulators next intend to do so. open a four-month investigation.
In summary, Microsoft knew that Europe was going to conduct a thorough investigation, and therefore was in no hurry. This is exactly what also happened with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the United Kingdom in mid-September, Microsoft having not provided additional information on the file. The CMA’s verdict is therefore officially expected no later than March 2023.
As for Europe, the 4-month investigation should therefore be announced in the coming days, which would bring us to a verdict in March 2023 as well. As mentioned this week in our columns, the boss of Xbox, Phil Spencer, said he was confident about the approval of the takeover by the various regulatory authorities, and everything suggests that it will be necessary to wait at least spring 2023 to clear things up.