Microsoft at Risk of Antitrust Warning From EU Commission
It has been suggested by activities being carried out by the European Commission that an antitrust warning could be flying towards Microsoft at any given moment. This is regarding the $69 billion Activision acquisition, which for the last few months has caused nothing but issues for Microsoft.
It’s a deal that’s being scrutinised by all-comers, and now, the European Commission is reportedly preparing a document known as a ‘charge sheet’ that will outline its objections concerning the deal. There’s a little time left yet, as the Commission’s deadline for passing judgement (and its decision on the deal) isn’t until the 11th of April, but if this warning is handed down, it could jeopardise the deal.
The Ill-Fated Deal
In recent weeks, both the European Commission and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission have gone to war with Microsoft regarding this deal. While Microsoft is tenaciously fighting from its own corner and insisting it’s a legitimate attempt to better battle its competitors, regulators are concerned that it’s an effort to monopolise the gaming industry.
By way of a response, Microsoft issued a statement on the matter:
We’re continuing to work with the European Commission to address any marketplace concerns. Our goal is to bring more games to more people, and this deal will further that goal.
On a global scale, the deal has reportedly already received the go-ahead from several nations, including Brazil, Serbia, and Saudi Arabia. There’s still a long road ahead for Microsoft, and following the issuance of the charge sheet by the European Commission, there may be remedial actions that need to be taken and potential changes that may have to be struck before the deal can ultimately go ahead.
This is a massively divisive situation and there’s plenty yet to play out. On one side, this is Microsoft, an already swollen firm, becoming increasingly larger and swallowing up more companies than competitors can… Well, compete with. It’s anti-competitive and it’s essentially immoral.
On the other hand, some see it as being a pro-consumer move, and perhaps having Microsoft’s firm hand on the tiller could help right some of the wrongs that have emerged from within Activision in recent years.