We never thought we’d write this sentence:
The European Union is officially concerned about whether enough gamers will be able to play Call of Duty freely.
Brussels formally issued an antitrust warning to Microsoft, detailing what EU competition experts say poses a danger to Activision’s planned acquisition of Blizzard. It is not known exactly which body sent the letter, who signed it, and what exactly is written in it, since the document is not public, but it probably says what they have been talking about for some time: they are afraid that if the company (more precisely, Xbox) will be bought by a giant publisher, creating an unprecedented monopoly situation where even the Call of Duty series could become platform-specific.
Politico, which issued the warning, also reached out to Microsoft, saying they remain “committed to finding a way to do business”, take the EU’s arguments seriously and are confident they will be appeased.
Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, told IGN the same thing earlier: he said that he traveled a lot and negotiated last year, got acquainted with the logic and arguments of the antitrust authorities, and in general it is good for the video game industry that this issue is being discussed. In this way, the authorities “learn about the gaming industry, how the business is going, who the players are and what the Xbox team wants.”
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