Microsoft to Offer Concessions for Activision Deal to EU, Report Says

The software giant's blockbuster $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard appears to be entering a new phase.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read
A white Xbox Series S and wireless controller.

Microsoft is facing increasing pushback over its massive gaming deal.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Microsoft is preparing to offer concessions to European Union regulators in an effort to get approval for its $68.7 billion deal for Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard, Reuters reported Monday, citing anonymous sources.

The deal, announced earlier this year, is the largest ever for the software maker and also within the video game industry. Microsoft, which also makes the Xbox video game console, has been speaking with regulators around the world in an effort to gain approval for its acquisition. Microsoft earlier said it expects to complete the deal sometime around the summer of 2023.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company is "continuing to work with the European Commission on next steps and to address any valid marketplace concerns." Activision didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Microsoft's willingness to offer concessions, which Reuters didn't outline in its story, comes days after Politico reported that the US Federal Trade Commission is "likely" to file an antitrust suit fighting the deal as well.

It also comes after one of its biggest competitors, Sony's PlayStation division, has repeatedly raised concerns that Microsoft's deal for Activision could give it unfair power within the game industry. Microsoft has publicly made assurances it will continue to offer Activision's hit Call of Duty war simulation game for competitor's devices, including the PlayStation.

Microsoft, in its statement, reiterated that it is "committed to making the same game available on the same day on both Xbox and PlayStation," adding that it wants "people to have more access to games, not less."