The EU wants to know if Microsoft will block its rivals after the agreement with Activision

The EU wants to know if Microsoft will block its rivals after the agreement with Activision
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BRUSSELS, Oct 6 (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators are asking game developers whether Microsoft (MSFT.O) will be incentivized to block rivals’ access to “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O) best-selling games, according to an EU document seen by Reuters.

EU antitrust regulators must make a preliminary decision by November 1. 8 on whether to authorize Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision.

The EU competition enforcer also asked whether Activision’s trove of user data would give the US software giant a competitive advantage in developing, publishing and distributing computer and console games, the court document shows. EU.

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The planned acquisition, the largest in the gaming industry, will help Microsoft better compete with leaders Tencent (0700.HK) and sony (6758.T).

Following its decision next month, the European Commission is expected to open a four-month investigation, underscoring regulatory concerns over Big Tech takeovers.

Game developers, publishers and distributors were asked if the deal would affect their bargaining power regarding the terms for selling console and PC games through Microsoft’s Xbox and its Game Pass cloud game streaming service.

Regulators also wanted to know if there would be enough alternative providers on the market after the deal and also in case Microsoft decides to make Activision games available exclusively on its Xbox, its Games Pass and its cloud game streaming services. .

They asked whether such exclusivity clauses would strengthen Microsoft’s Windows operating system against its rivals, and whether the addition of Activision to its PC operating system, cloud computing services and gaming-related software tools gives it a advantage in the video game industry.

They asked how important the Call of Duty franchise is to console game distributors, third-party multi-game subscription services on computers, and cloud game streaming service providers.

The questionnaire, with about 100 questions, asked which of the rivals, such as Nvidia’s GeForce Now, Sony’s Playstation, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and Facebook Gaming, could be considered the most attractive after the deal.

Respondents have until October 1. 10 to answer.

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Information from Foo Yun Chee; Edited by Susan Fenton

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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