Xbox and Activision: the European antitrust continues the investigation, enters phase 2

Xbox and Activision: the European antitrust continues the investigation, enters phase 2

Xbox and Activision

The European Union antitrust investigations into Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard are continuing, with the European Commission now appearing to enter phase 2, according to reports from some sources.

This is reported, in particular, by a report by Politico, in advance of an official announcement by the Commission.

Activision, the Microsoft headquarters had a time limit on October 31, 2022 to present any changes to the agreement or further documentation to definitively dissolve the doubts and eventually put an end to the investigation, but there have been no changes to the investigations should continue.

Phase 2 of the investigations should therefore also start by the European Commission, which should be formalized on November 8 and go on for a few more months, thus moving the definitive answer probably to the beginning of 2023, similarly to what is also happening with the UK CMA.

This development was rather predictable, especially since Microsoft decided not to propose specific "commitmens", or commitments details designed to modify the acquisition agreement in order to immediately satisfy the most obvious doubts. It is a standard modus operandi which, however, presupposes more in-depth investigations.

According to what reported by Politico, even as regards the European Commission, the most pressing doubts concern the possible exclusivity of Call of Duty or the fact that the series cannot arrive on PlayStation, thus damaging the direct competitor.

On the other hand, Phil Spencer continues to reiterate that there is no such risk, having also recently stated that "as long as there is PlayStation, Call of Duty will arrive on PlayStation". In any case, the investigations are continuing as expected also by Microsoft itself, which in fact has already set March 2023 as the period for a possible final officialization (or not) of the acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

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