Microsoft met with EU regulators as well as a myriad of partners and competing businesses to hash out concessions the governing body is seeking as means to approve the historic $68.2 billion dollar merger.
Following the meeting, Microsoft hosted an in person briefing in Brussels to go over what it plans to do if it can successfully acquire the publishing behemoth Activision Blizzard that includes a new deal between NVIDIA’s GeForce and Xbox and a signed binding 10-year contract with Nintendo.
According to Microsoft’s president Brad Smith, “we’ve now signed a binding 10-year contract to bring Xbox games to Nintendo’s gamers. This is just part of our commitment to bring Xbox games and Activision titles like Call of Duty to more players on more platforms.”
Microsoft is also looking to shore up NVIDIA as an ally with its own 10-year deal that will deliver Call of Duty to GeForce Now users as well as a laundry list of Xbox and Activision Blizzard PC titles to the platform.
With today’s agreements with NVIDIA and Nintendo, we will bring Call of Duty to 150 million new devices. That will serve consumers AND advance competition. https://t.co/koCNCiWOYI
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) February 21, 2023
However, when asked directly about a possible spin off of Call Duty from the Activision Blizzard deal to address one of the major concerns by the EU, CMA, FTC and other regulatory bodies, Microsoft explained it was not interested in doing that.
Instead, Microsoft offered up “guard rails” as an appeasement measure for regulators worldwide.
Smith spent some time directly appealing to the EU via the press briefing highlighting the stark market share difference between Sony and Xbox with the latter being roughly only 20 percent of the overall console gaming market in Europe.
With Microsoft slowly subduing the argument from some of its major competitors when it comes to the famed Call of Duty franchise title being a sticking point of the Activision Blizzard deal, it remains to be seen what other significant concessions regulators will ask of the two companies.