The European Union gives the green light to the largest acquisition in the video game industry to date. The software company Microsoft is allowed to swallow Activision Blizzard under certain conditions, the EU competition authority announced on Monday. The Reuters news agency reported on this last week thanks to insider information.
The authority described the long-term licensing agreements offered by Microsoft for Activision's video game hits such as "Call of Duty" as sufficient. "They represent a significant improvement compared to the current situation." According to the EU Commission, Microsoft would "not be in a position to interfere with competing console providers and game subscription services".
In November, the European competition watchdogs had initially accused Microsoft of "pursuing a foreclosure strategy" against competing distributors of video games, such as Sony and its PlayStation.
Microsoft competes with its game console "Xbox" against the "PlayStation" or the "Switch" from Nintendo. In addition, there are numerous online gaming platforms from companies such as the graphics chip specialist NVidia or the Internet company Google.
The British competition watchdogs came to a different conclusion than the EU: they had refused to approve the $69 billion takeover. It is to be feared that the merger will lead to "less innovation and less choice for UK players" in the field of cloud gaming, the CMA said. Lawsuits against the deal are pending in the United States.