On Monday, after several months of investigation, the decision of the competition law body of the European Commission was reached on the authorization of the acquisition deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard announced at the beginning of last year, so the two parties received the official approval for the deal in one of the most important markets, while in Great Britain the competent authority did not quite he nailed it in the first degree a month ago.
The positive decision of the EU authority was aired already in March. The carriage of the case, which seemed to have stalled fatally, could have been moved forward by the committee hearing, where Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and legal head, personally argued that the purpose of the acquisition was not to build a kind of gaming industry monopoly on Microsoft’s part.
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The fact that Microsoft announced in time for the hearing that it had entered into a long-term license agreement with Nvidia, whose cloud gaming platform, GeForce Now, will automatically include all Xbox PC games over the next ten years probably did not have much impact on the lat.
In Monday’s decision, the Commission explained that the investigation phase pointed out that it is not in Microsoft’s interest to withhold Activision’s games (primarily titles belonging to the Call of Duty franchise) from its biggest rival, Sony’s PlayStation platform, which is also considered the market leader, but even if even if Microsoft were to do it, it would not significantly distort competition in the console market.
With regard to cloud game platforms, the Commission has already expressed concerns similar to the British co-authority, but unlike the British, the EU found Microsoft’s ten-year voluntary license agreement to be a sufficient guarantee.
With the Commission’s decision, the parties took a serious step towards closing the deal, although in Great Britain the second-degree proceedings may last for months, and in the United States the lawsuit initiated by the local competent body, the Federal Trade Commission (FCC), will only reach the first hearings in August . In light of everything, the megadeal of 2022 could easily be closed for good only in 2024.
Source: HWSW Informatikai Hírmagazin by www.hwsw.hu.
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