The European Commission seeks further feedback from Microsoft’s rivals and customers. As a result, they are delaying their ruling on Microsoft’s attempted purchase of Activision Blizzard until May 22nd.
Reuters also reports that sources expect the deal to obtain European Union antitrust approval. One key reason for this approval is Microsoft’s licensing deals with rival companies to ensure games like Call of Duty appear on competing platforms.
Microsoft has signed deals to ensure the popular FPS franchise appears on Nintendo hardware for the next ten years. Additionally, Microsoft announced partnerships with two cloud gaming services: NVIDIA GeForce Now and Boosteroid.
“We have stood behind our promise to bring Call of Duty to more gamers on more devices by entering into agreements to bring the game to the Nintendo console and cloud game streaming services offered by Nvidia, Boosteroid, and Ubitus,” a spokesperson for Microsoft said.
“We are now backing up that promise with binding commitments to the European Commission, which will ensure that this deal benefits gamers into the future.”
While these deals are helping to ease concerns from critics of the deal, additional remedies are expected.
Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, mentioned earlier this year that the company is ready to offer licensing deals to rivals. It’s expected additional agreements to take place to help ensure the European Commission approves the purchase of Activision Blizzard. Smith also says they are not planning to sell off the Call of Duty franchise.
News of Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard first broke in January of 2022. The deal is for nearly $70 billion. Microsoft would own key Activision gaming properties beyond Call of Duty if approved. Microsoft would own World of Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawk, and more.