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  • Updated: January 16, 2023

Microsoft Under EU Antitrust Scrutiny Over Activision Purchase 

Microsoft's $69 billion offer for "Call of Duty" producer Activision Blizzard is expected to receive an EU antitrust notice, which may add another hurdle to the merger.

The European Commission is getting ready to send Microsoft a charge sheet outlining its objections to the deal in the coming weeks 

The EU antitrust authority declined to comment, setting an April 11 deadline for its judgement on the transaction.

Microsoft said: "We're continuing to work with the European Commission to address any marketplace concerns.

"Our goal is to bring more games to more people, and this deal will further that goal."

The Xbox maker and U.S. software giant announced the acquisition in January of last year in an effort to better compete with market leaders Tencent and Sony.

U.S. and UK regulators, however, have expressed concerns, with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filing a lawsuit to halt the transaction.

Other sources familiar with the situation told Reuters in November that Microsoft was anticipated to propose remedies to EU regulators in an effort to avoid a statement of charge and speed up the regulatory process.

However, even if there are ongoing informal negotiations on concessions, the EU competition enforcer is not anticipated to be receptive to remedies before releasing its charge sheet, according to the people.

Microsoft announced in December that it had secured a 10-year agreement with Nintendo to make "Call of Duty" available on Nintendo platforms, and that it was willing to do the same with Sony, which opposes the purchase.

In Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Serbia, the agreement has been approved without restrictions.

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Lawrence Agbo
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