Microsoft Activision Takeover Deal: Firm’s EU Remedies Target Only Cloud Streaming Rivals, Sources Say

Microsoft Corp’s remedies to address European Union antitrust concerns over its $69 billion acquisition of Activision focus only on cloud gaming services, with no mention of rival Sony, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The U.S. software giant has been trying to allay the Commission’s concerns that the deal may reduce competition for console and personal computers, PC operating systems and cloud game streaming services. However, the absence of a Sony solution suggests the Commission no longer has concerns about competition in the console market.

Microsoft submitted its proposal to the European Commission last week but did not disclose details.

The sources said Microsoft has offered 10-year licensing deals for cloud gaming services, citing Nvidia, Ukraine-based cloud gaming provider Boosteroid and Japan’s Ubitus as examples.

The EU competition enforcer has given rivals and customers until the end of this week to provide feedback before it decides on the deal by May 22, they said.

Microsoft’s EU offer is narrower than that to the UK competition agency, which includes licensing deals to cloud gaming services and a 10-year deal with parity on content and quality for Activision’s Call of Duty franchise to critic and PlayStation owner Sony.

The Commission is likely to accept such licensing deals and clear the deal, other people with direct knowledge of the deal have told Reuters, but it is not clear if the UK watchdog will accept such so-called behavioural remedies.

© Thomson Reuters 2023


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