Microsoft defends its plan to buy Activision in Brussels, ‘Call of Duty’ at the center of discussions

Microsoft defends its plan to buy Activision in Brussels, ‘Call of Duty’ at the center of discussions

This is the biggest battle in the world of video games. Microsoft defended on Tuesday in Brussels plan to take over American video game publisher Activision Blizzard in the amount of $ 69 billion and rejected it during a hearing with the authority services Fears of harming competition.

Microsoft, the owner of Xbox, launched a bid early last year to create the third largest video game company in the world by buying out the owner of hit games. candy crush And Call of dutyHowever, the project faced competition concerns.

The last major hurdle came from UK regulators. In their interim findings earlier this month, they said the deal could significantly harm competition and consumer choice.

Agreements with Nvidia and Nintendo

Microsoft president Brad Smith said in Brussels that he hoped regulators, including the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, would view the deal as “an opportunity to bring this game to an additional 150 million people,” which would benefit consumers.

He rejected any demands that Microsoft sell hit games like Call of duty In contrast, claiming that “it would neither be possible nor realistic.” However, Smith said he was “more optimistic about the chances of closing this deal tonight than he was 24 hours ago, not because of what happened in the courtroom, but because of two agreements.”

He was referring to deals with Nvidia, which will allow its cloud gaming service access to Xbox PC games for ten years, and one with rival Nintendo, which will see Microsoft commit to bringing the popular game Call of duty to the competing console maker. ” we bring Call of duty 150 million more people, 150 million more devices can’t reach it Call of duty He didn’t say.

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Negotiations with Sony

Microsoft’s biggest rival, Sony, is fiercely opposed to the deal, but Brad Smith said on Tuesday that Microsoft is willing to agree a solution to alleviate Sony’s concerns. “I am ready to sign,” he said, stressing that he is ready to sit down with Sony for “dialogue” in order to reach an agreement.

Brad Smith came to Brussels with several Microsoft officials for a closed-door hearing as he sought to persuade EU antitrust regulators to agree to the deal with Activision.

The European Commission stressed that “the investigation is still ongoing” and said it would not comment on the hearing. The Commission, the EU’s guardian of competition, in particular fears that Microsoft may “lock” access to Activision’s video games for console and PC and is tempted to devise “strategies to exclude competing distributors”.

You must make a decision on March 23, the end of the 90-day period for an in-depth investigation.

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