Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT)
Microsoft Corporation has finalized its commitment to bring the blockbuster gaming franchise Call of Duty to its competitor Nintendo while the tech giant is seeking regulatory approval in Europe for its takeover of game developer Activision Blizzard. Call of Duty is one of the most popular gaming franchises in the world.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nintendo (7974.Japan), the companies responsible for producing the Xbox and Switch gaming consoles, respectively, have negotiated and signed a 10-year deal to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo, according to the President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, who made the announcement on Tuesday.
Because of the legally binding agreement, games from the well-known first-person shooter franchise that was developed by Activision (NADAQG:ATVI), the company that Microsoft is attempting to acquire for $68.7 billion, will be made available to Nintendo gamers on the same day that they are made available to Xbox users, with all of the game’s content. Microsoft describes this concept as parity.
The move to finalize the agreement to bring Activision games from Xbox to Nintendo was initially announced in December. Microsoft continues to seek approval from regulators for its acquisition of the game developer, which was announced in January 2022. The all-cash transaction would be the most significant in the history of the technology industry.
According to a person with knowledge of the matter, Smith’s announcement comes at a time when the Microsoft chairman is scheduled to lead a delegation of 18 executives to a meeting with senior EU antitrust regulators during a closed hearing on Tuesday. Smith will be leading the delegation. According to the person, Smith and Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision, are monitoring the sentiment among executives before introducing measures to address antitrust concerns. They will also try to convince regulators that the deal will foster competition in the market.
Reuters was the first to break the story about Microsoft and Activision’s meeting with European regulators, which took place several weeks ago.
The deal for the tech giant to acquire one of the largest game developers in the world is subject to regulatory scrutiny because it would have a negative impact on competition in the market for gaming consoles, which is dominated by Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. Playstation is responsible for production.
An independent investigation into the acquisition was conducted earlier this month, and the results of that investigation were presented to the British competition regulator earlier this month. The regulator stated that the acquisition “could result in higher prices, less choice, or less innovation for UK gamers.” In December, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States made public its intention to challenge the transaction on the grounds that it would have a negative impact on market competition.
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