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Microsoft is ‘likely to offer concessions soon’ to help gain EU approval for Activision deal

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Microsoft is reportedly expected to offer concessions to EU regulators soon in a bid to help push through its proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition.That’s according to Reuters sources, who said Microsoft’s sweeteners would consist mainly of a 10-year licensing deal to PlayStation maker Sony.The future of the Call of Duty series as a multiplatform product is one of the key areas being examined by antitrust regulators scrutinising Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.Microsoft recently said it had offered Sony a deal that would see the Call of Duty franchise remain on PlayStation for a decade.“Sony, as the industry leader, says it is worried about Call of Duty, but we’ve said we are committed to making the same game available on the same day on both Xbox and PlayStation,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters. “We want people to have more access to games, not less.”The European Commission officially launched an in-depth probe of Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard in November.“The Commission is concerned that the proposed acquisition may reduce competition in the markets for the distribution of console and personal computers (‘PCs’) video games and for PC operating systems,” it said at the time.The EU competition watchdog is due to rule on the deal by April 11, 2023.Of the 16 regulators reviewing the deal, only Saudi Arabia and Brazil have approved it so far, although Microsoft reportedly expects Serbia to do so shortly.In statements recently provided to the UK’s competition watchdog, Sony claimed that if Microsoft was to gain sole control of Activision’s “irreplaceable” content, it could lead to the company increasing Xbox hardware, software and subscription prices.S

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