Microsoft in EU showdown over Activision Blizzard deal
February 22, 2023 - Microsoft says it will abandon its planned $69 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard if it does not include the “Call of Duty” franchise.
Microsoft president Brad Smith says their intended $69 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard will not go ahead unless it includes the “Call of Duty” game franchise.
The comment came after Smith met with EU antitrust regulators to discuss the controversial purchase plan – the company’s largest ever and one of the 30 biggest acquisitions of all time.
Regulators are concerned with Microsoft’s leading position in cloud gaming, and Sony are against the buy-out because Microsoft could stop releasing Call of Duty for the PlayStation console, giving it an unfair advantage.
Recently, the UK’s antitrust watchdog suggested Call of Duty could be sold off separately to appease critics – an idea Smith rebuffs.
According to Activision, by summer 2022, Call of Duty games had sold more than 425 million units and earned $30 billion in revenue.