EU wants to know if Microsoft will block rivals after Activision deal
Antitrust investigators are questioning game makers if Microsoft will be incentivized to prevent rivals from accessing “Call of Duty” producer Activision Blizzard’s best-selling titles. By November 8, EU antitrust investigators are expected to issue a preliminary verdict on Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision.
According to the EU dossier, the EU competition enforcer also probed if Activision’s wealth of user data will provide the US software giant a competitive edge in the creation, production, and distribution of computer and console games. Games developers, publishers, and distributors were questioned if the agreement will damage their negotiating leverage when selling console and PC games through Microsoft’s Xbox and its cloud game streaming service Game Pass.
They questioned whether such exclusivity clauses would strengthen Microsoft’s Windows operating system against competitors, and whether the addition of Activision to its PC operating system, cloud computing services, and game-related software tools gives it a competitive advantage in the video gaming industry.