For more than a year now, fans around the world have been waiting to see whether Xbox's proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard will be approved. While there are still several challenges ahead, the path forward looks a bit more likely today. According to reporting from Reuters, the EU's European Commission is satisfied with the licensing deals Microsoft has signed with companies like Nintendo and Nvidia, and will not require the selling of any assets prior to approval. The commission has not made any official announcement, but a decision deadline of April 25th was previously set.
If the reporting from Reuters is correct, that would just leave the U.K. and the U.S. left to approve the deal. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has sued to block the deal over concerns it could hurt competition, but Microsoft's case would become much stronger if approved in the EU. The size of the proposed purchase has resulted in a lot of scrutiny throughout the world, but clearly Microsoft's concessions are helping.
While Activision Blizzard owns a lot of franchises that could prove lucrative to Microsoft, the Call of Duty franchise has stood at the heart of this deal. Sony has publicly opposed the deal at every turn, warning that Microsoft could make the franchise exclusive to Xbox platforms. Xbox has frequently pledged to keep Call of Duty on platforms other than Xbox, and has even pledged to bring the series to Nintendo consoles. The first-person shooter franchise has not appeared on a Nintendo system in several years now, so the purchase could actually make the series available to more players than before. That simple fact negates one of the biggest arguments against the deal, which is likely why the EU is ready to approve.
For now, Call of Duty fans will just have to wait and see if the deal comes through. Full approval is likely still a few months away, but it looks like a conclusion is finally in sight!
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"Xbox's Acquisition of Activision Blizzard Just Became Much More Likely" :: Login/Create an Account :: 6 comments