Microsoft and Activision two of the largest gamers in the sector, currently in the midst of an EU antitrust trial. The case centers around the acquisition by Microsoft of Activision and whether it will result in anti-competitive behaviour.
The antitrust authorities of the European Union are concerned that Microsoft’s acquisition Activision could create an monopoly within the gaming industry that could end up harming the consumer. The EU has previously blocked numerous major acquisitions and mergers including the proposed merging of Siemens and Alstom due to antitrust concerns.
Activision, which Microsoft acquired from Activision
Microsoft announced plans to buy Activision on January 20, 2022, for $68.7 billion, which is the biggest gaming deal ever. Activision is one of the major players in the world of gaming with brands like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft as well as Candy Crush.
The deal has received mixed reaction from the gaming industry, with some criticizing how much power will be consolidated at the hands of a handful of large players in the field. The company has however, Microsoft has assured the public that the deal won’t result in any negative anti-competitive behaviour.
The EU antitrust investigation
The EU antitrust investigation is a significant development during the acquisition of Activision by Microsoft. The hearing is anticipated to be over a period of time and during which Microsoft and the European Commission will investigate whether the acquisition will result in unfair competition.
If EU regulators conclude that the acquisition may result in anti-competitive behaviour, Microsoft could be forced to sell off certain assets of Activision. This could not only have a negative impact on Microsoft’s bottom line but may also have a major impact for the industry of gaming in general.
The EU antitrust investigation into the acquisition by Microsoft of Activision is a significant development for the industry of games. The result of the trial will not only affect Microsoft as well as Activision but also could impact the gaming industry in general.