Microsoft has taken steps to address concerns about its proposed $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, as the deal comes under scrutiny from regulators in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. In an effort to convince European Union officials to approve the acquisition, Microsoft President Brad Smith held a closed-door meeting in Brussels with regulators and competitors to address concerns that the acquisition could harm competition in the video game industry.
To ease concerns, Microsoft announced partnerships with Nvidia and Nintendo. The company has entered into a 10-year agreement with Nvidia to bring Xbox PC games to Nvidia’s cloud gaming service, resolving Nvidia’s concerns with Activision Blizzard. As a result, Nvidia has offered its full support for regulatory approval of the acquisition. Microsoft also finalized a 10-year agreement to bring the latest version of “Call of Duty” to the Nintendo platform once the merger with Activision is completed.
According to Smith, these two agreements address concerns that “Call of Duty” will be less available than it is today, as the deals will bring the game to an additional 150 million people on Nintendo devices and Nvidia’s cloud streaming services. Smith also indicated that Microsoft is willing to enter a 10-year agreement with Sony and is prepared to enter regulatory obligations as well, whether in London, Brussels, or Washington.
Despite these efforts, Sony remains the only principal company objecting to the deal. However, Smith remains confident that Microsoft can address Sony’s concerns and secure regulatory approval for the acquisition.
The proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard would give Microsoft access to a vast library of popular video game franchises, including “Call of Duty,” “World of Warcraft,” and “Diablo.” With the addition of these franchises, Microsoft could significantly expand its gaming offerings and compete more directly with other major players in the industry, such as Sony and Nintendo.
In addition to addressing regulatory concerns, Microsoft has also faced criticism from Activision Blizzard employees and others in the wake of a lawsuit alleging widespread discrimination and harassment at the company. Microsoft has pledged to address these concerns and work to create a safe and inclusive workplace culture at Activision Blizzard.
Overall, Microsoft’s efforts to address concerns and secure regulatory approval for the Activision Blizzard acquisition are ongoing. While the partnerships with Nvidia and Nintendo are a positive step forward, the company will need to continue to work with regulators and other stakeholders to address concerns and secure a successful acquisition.
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