Written by Lee Reid


Another day and another spin on the merry-go-round that is Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In case you have been completely oblivious to the whole scenario, just over a year ago, Microsoft announced its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 Billion move. 


Now, it is very safe to say that the acquisition has not fully gone to plan for Microsoft. Sony in particular has been very vocal in their attempts to block the deal. Microsoft also needs to get the major regulatory bodies in various territories to rubber stamp the deal and although some of these bodies have given their consent for the deal to go through, others have shown their concerns. The US regulator, the FTC, for example, has moved to block the acquisition and it now looks very much like they will face Microsoft in court. 


The United Kingdom’s regulatory body, The CMA, also recently stated that they also have concerns about the deal although they have left the door open for Microsoft to come to the table with remedies and concessions in order to help their case. The EU are also another regulatory body that Microsoft will need the approval of and it is actually ahead of a meeting with the EU that will take place today, February 21st 2023, that Microsoft has made the announcement that they have now agreed to a legal binding 10-year agreement with Nintendo to bring the Call of Duty franchise to their platform. It has also been rumoured that Microsoft has made the same offer to Sony in regard to PlayStation. 


The announcement of the agreement between Microsoft and Nintendo came via Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, along with the following statement: 

It should not come as a major surprise that Microsoft and Nintendo have now entered into this legally binding deal, Phil Spencer confirmed in December 2022 that Microsoft had made a commitment to both Nintendo and Steam to bring Call of Duty to both their respective platforms should their acquisition of Activision Blizzard be successful. It would not also be a huge surprise if a similar announcement were to follow, stating that they also now had a legally binding agreement with Steam. 


It will be very interesting to see if this move will be enough to help convince regulators to bring down that rubber stamp on the acquisition. With Microsoft set to meet with the EU regulators imminently, it may not bee too much longer before we have an answer.

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