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The EU has reportedly issued a formal warning to Microsoft over the Activision Blizzard deal

The EU has reportedly issued a formal warning to Microsoft over the Activision Blizzard deal


The European Union opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition in November.

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An illustration of the Xbox logo.
It’s more regulatory pressure on the deal.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft is seemingly facing more regulatory opposition to its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. According to Politico, the European Union has issued a formal antitrust warning against Microsoft regarding the $68.7 billion deal.

Politico didn’t share exact details about the contents of the warning, but the publication says that in a “statement of objections,” EU officials “laid out the reasons why the deal could threaten fair competition on the video game market.”

In a statement to The Verge, Microsoft spokesperson David Cuddy said, “We are committed to solutions and finding a path forward for this deal. We are listening carefully to the [European Commission’s] concerns and are confident we can address them.” European Commission spokesperson Maria Tsoni declined to comment.

The European Commission opened an “in-depth investigation” into the Activision Blizzard deal in November following an initial review that began in September. “We must ensure that opportunities remain for future and existing distributors of PC and console video games, as well as for rival suppliers of PC operating systems,” Margrethe Vestager, the Commission’s executive VP in charge of competition policy, said in a statement about the November probe.

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Microsoft to try and block the deal, and Microsoft has since responded to the suit. And Sony and Microsoft have been in an ongoing spat over the future of the Call of Duty franchise, which is one of the biggest in gaming. Sony has told regulators that it is worried about Call of Duty under Microsoft’s ownership, but the Xbox maker has committed to making the franchise natively available on PlayStation. It has also reached a 10-year deal with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty games to Nintendo consoles if the Activision Blizzard deal goes through.

Update February 6th, 11:13AM ET: The European Commission declined to comment.