Microsoft’s Activision/Blizzard Takeover to Face Huge Scrutiny from the UK & EU

While Microsoft’s takeover of Activision/Blizzard does appear to have somewhat inevitable feel about it, that isn’t to say that there aren’t many obstacles that need to be overcome before it will be finalised. – Of these, one of the biggest undoubtedly lies in what the future for some of Activision/Blizzard’s biggest franchises might be on rival consoles. And this is especially so in regards to Call of Duty on the PlayStation.

In this regard, what hasn’t helped the situation is that Microsoft has been exceptionally coy, or at least highly selective, in the words it has chosen to use in regards to the future of COD on PlayStation, and following report via TechSpot, it seems that their current lack of transparency will lead to a formal UK and EU watchdog being created to see whether Microsoft’s proposed acquisition isn’t going to violate any anti-competition laws!

Microsoft Face UK/EU Investigation Over Activision/Blizzard Deal!

According to the source, both the UK and EU regulatory bodies have both been largely dissatisfied with Microsoft over their current status/comments on bringing future Activision/Blizzard gaming titles to other consoles. And, in this regard, they have every right to be somewhat suspicious.

For the moment, the best Microsoft will commit to is that they still plan to bring any titles set for a PlayStation or Switch release to the systems. In terms of new games not yet in the works/development, however, this is the grey area that Microsoft has, quite honestly, been getting more than a little (what I suspect is deliberately) vague about. – This has, therefore, got Sony more than a little concerned that while 2022, 2023, and 2024 will see COD arrive on the PlayStation, 2026 and onwards might see it going entirely exclusive to both the PC and Xbox systems.

And let me put it bluntly, for all the placating tones Microsoft has been giving, they have categorically not ruled this possibility out! Almost to the point that it seems that taking COD exclusive is the plan, but they just want to get the acquisition finalised first.

What Will Happen Now?

In truth, it’s doubtful that either the UK or EU watchdog will ultimately rule against Microsoft. Such acquisitions have, after all, gone through in the past despite similar concerns being raised. What this does mean, however, is that the scrutinisation of the deal is going to be ramped up to a whole new level meaning that this could now likely be set to drag on for another couple of months. And lest we forget that the acquisition was already unlikely to be completed before the early part of 2023.

It is, of course, possible that the UK or EU might rule against Microsoft. Somehow though, I doubt that this is going to be the case. Put simply, if Sony isn’t working on their own in-house alternative to Call of Duty, they really ought to be, like… right now!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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