Microsoft is likely to get an EU antitrust warning over its $69 billion bid for “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard, said people familiar with the matter. This could pose another challenge to the completion of the deal.
The European Commission is working on a charge sheet known as a statement of objections, explaining its concerns about the deal, and will send it to Microsoft in the coming weeks. The EU antitrust watchdog has now set a deadline of April 11 for its decision on the deal.
Microsoft aid that the company would continue to work with the European Commission to address all the marketplace concerns. The company affirmed that its goal is to bring more games to more people and that this deal will further that goal.
Microsoft announced the acquisition in January last year to help it compete better with leaders Sony and Tencent. However, US and UK regulators have voiced concerns over the US Federal Trade Commission going to court to block the deal.
Microsoft was being expected to offer remedies to the EU regulators in an attempt to avoid a statement of charge and shorten the regulatory process, said other sources familiar with the matter.
The EU competition enforcer, however, is not expected to be open to remedies without first sending out its charge sheet, although there are ongoing informal discussions on concessions, the people said.