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EU Antitrust Regulator Delays Ruling On Microsoft Buyout Of Activision Blizzard

Now, barring other delays, the ruling will release on April 25.


The European Commission, the European Union's competition regulator, has announced that it has pushed back the provisional deadline to rule on Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The ruling is now set to release on April 25.

As spotted by VGC, the news comes only a day after EU antitrust boss Margrethe Vestager urged caution. When asked by Bloomberg whether regulators were "racing" to get a ruling, Vestager said, "I think that’s a very important discussion because we cannot be in a race. We need to serve the specific markets where we have jurisdiction."

"And I also hope that people working with us appreciate that we have a different legal framework. I think in Europe we are the ones with the highest bar, the most heavyweight legal obligations. We need to produce a recent decision that will eventually go public but that will also have to stand up for very tight scrutiny in court."

"The UK system is different, the US system is different again. So even when we look at the same transaction with different markets and different legal provisions, sometimes we’ll get to different results."

Last month, Xbox boss Phil Spencer flew to Europe to attend hearings in both the EU and the UK concerning the deal. He discussed the potential acquisition and Xbox's policy on exclusivity in a recent interview. Also in February, the United Kingdom's Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) released a provisional report suggesting that Microsoft shed Call of Duty from the deal. The CMA is set to release its full report on April 26.

In the US, the Federal Trade Commission is currently suing Microsoft in an attempt to halt the deal. The Communication Workers of America, a major cross-industry union, urged the European Commission to accept the buyout.

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