Microsoft’s Activision Deal Tests a New Global Alignment on Antitrust

a very tall building with a lot of windows

As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And yet, here we are. Microsoft, a company not exactly known for its stellar record when it comes to antitrust regulation, has decided to plow ahead with its acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard, a move that is already being met with resistance from the European Union.

The EU has issued a formal antitrust warning to Microsoft over the deal, citing concerns that the merger could reduce competition in the video game market. Microsoft, for its part, remains confident that it will be able to address the EU’s concerns.

“We are confident that the transaction will increase competition in the video game industry and offer gamers more choices,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement.

The EU’s concerns are not without merit. The video game market is already highly concentrated, with just a handful of companies accounting for the lion’s share of sales. If Microsoft is allowed to acquire Activision Blizzard, that concentration will only increase.

That could lead to higher prices for consumers, as well as less innovation in the industry. It’s a classic case of antitrust concerns, and the EU is right to be worried.

Microsoft has until March 5th to respond to the EU’s concerns. It remains to be seen whether the company will be able to address them satisfactorily. But one thing is for sure: the EU is not going to let this deal go through without a fight.

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