Microsoft offers new remedies to EU, making regulator delay its ruling on Activision Blizzard deal

Microsoft has offered the European Commission a package of remedies related to its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard and the future of the Call of Duty franchise. The regulator has now postponed the deadline for its final decision.

EU delays the deadline for Microsoft-Activision ruling to May 22

As reported by Reuters, Microsoft offered remedies on Friday in an attempt to gain EU antitrust approval.

This package includes a commitment to bring Call of Duty to more platforms. In recent weeks, Microsoft has signed several long-term agreements with its rivals, including 10-year deals with Nintendo and Nvidia, as well as cloud gaming services Boosteroid and Ubitus.

“We are now backing up [our promise to bring Call of Duty to more gamers on more devices] with binding commitments to the European Commission, which will ensure that this deal benefits gamers into the future,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

As a result, the European Commission will now make the final ruling on the Activision Blizzard acquisition on May 22 rather than April 26 as previously planned. The antitrust regulator will ask rivals and customers for feedback on Microsoft’s remedies.

Earlier this month, three anonymous sources told Reuters that the European Commission is likely to approve the $68.7 billion deal. However, the merger is still subject to regulatory pressure in the US and UK.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is expected to decide on it by April 26. It released its provisional findings last month, offering Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard without Call of Duty. Microsoft, however, rejected these divestment remedies and recently received support from six game studios who all told the CMA that this deal should be approved.

The US Federal Trade Commission is now preparing for an antitrust trial set for August 2. Earlier this week, the regulator asked for more documents from Microsoft, including information on the company’s ZeniMax acquisition and its “next generation gaming ecosystem.”

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