Microsoft (MSFT-US) may offer remedies to EU antitrust regulators in the coming weeks to avert a formal EU opposition to its $69 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard (ATVI-US), Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter. .
The US software giant announced the deal in January to help it better compete with leaders Tencent (00700-HK) and Sony. Since then, it has faced regulatory headwinds in the EU, UK and US, with Sony criticizing the deal and even calling for a regulatory veto.
The European Commission, which is investigating the deal, has a January deadline to draw up a formal list of competition concerns, known as a statement of objections.Providing remedies before such documents are published could shorten the regulatory process, with the European Commission currently scheduled to make a final decision in early April 2023
Stephane Dionnet, a partner at law firm McDermott Will & Emery, said providing a remedy would secure early approval from the European Commission, which would then be used before other antitrust authorities.
But he pointed out that it remains to be seen whether this measure will be accepted by the antitrust agencies CMA and FTC in the UK and US.
Xbox maker Microsoft’s remedies include a 10-year licensing deal with Playstation owner Sony, other people familiar with the matter said.
For games like Call of Duty, the company is committed to making them available on the Xbox and PlayStation on the same day, a Microsoft spokesman said, and hopes it will help bring more attention to the game.
The deal currently has regulatory approvals in Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Serbia.