Sources inform Politico (opens in new tab) that the European Fee plans to open an in-depth, “Section 2” investigation into Microsoft’s $68 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The fee is alleged to be launching the investigation after Microsoft determined towards submitting treatments—commitments that might fulfill the Fee’s worries relating to the deal—earlier than a deadline of midnight tonight.
Similar to the Brazilian (opens in new tab) and UK market regulators (opens in new tab), the European Fee’s points stem largely from worries that Microsoft’s possession of Activision would shut off its rivals’ entry (or Sony’s entry, if we’re being particular) to Name of Responsibility, regardless of Microsoft’s repeated insistence that it’s going to preserve the sequence on PlayStation (opens in new tab).
Politico additionally stories that the European Fee has been making inquiries of Microsoft’s rivals about its cloud companies, which got here up rather a lot in Microsoft’s latest submission (opens in new tab) to the UK Competitors and Market Authority (CMA).
It is in all probability not the response Microsoft hoped for from the European Fee. The corporate would little question favor each nation to wave the deal via as simply as Saudi Arabia did (opens in new tab), nevertheless it appears like Microsoft’s attorneys are going to need to pen a prolonged submission to European regulators similar to they did for the UK.
On the plus facet (not less than for us), Microsoft’s submission to the UK CMA revealed all kinds of fascinating tidbits, like how a deal between Sony and Activision is in some way maintaining Name of Responsibility off of Sport Cross (opens in new tab). We additionally realized that Microsoft is not fairly as bullish on cloud gaming (opens in new tab) in personal as they’re on gaming conference phases, and that the corporate thinks we must always all cease worrying about Name of Responsibility exclusivity as a result of, hey, what if the longer term video games suck as a lot as Vanguard did (opens in new tab)?
Who is aware of what we’ll be taught subsequent? If Microsoft actually does miss tonight’s deadline to file treatments, the European Fee may have till November 8 to announce a full investigation of the acquisition. After which, we will however hope, comes much more revealing paperwork.