EU regulators reportedly expected to approve Microsoft Activision deal next week
EU antitrust regulators are reportedly set to approve Microsoft's Activision Blizzard buyout next week.
Per a report from Reuters, the European Commission is most likely to give the deal its stamp of approval on Monday, May 15, although it has set a May 22 deadline for its decision.
The expected decision follows deals from earlier this year which Microsoft called "definite steps to alleviating concerns" from both its biggest rivals and regulators around the world. One such agreement is a 10-year partnership with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo systems, and another would bring Activision's Xbox PC games to Nvidia's GeForce Now streaming service if the buyout goes through. In March, court filings went public suggesting Microsoft would commit to bringing Call of Duty to a prospective PS6 if and when such a console released.
If the EU clears the sale, it would be a significant win for Microsoft and Activision, which only just recently faced a big legal setback when the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) moved to block the deal. Microsoft has already promised to appeal the decision in court after it traded barbs with the UK regulators, but its fate is still anything but certain.
Another major hurdle is the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is currently suing to block the $69 billion acquisition from going forward, on the grounds that it would "enable Microsoft to suppress competitors." Barring any potential delays, the FTC is currently scheduled to hold final hearings about the case on August 2, but the verdict could take several months to be decided.
While Microsoft and Activision are eager to complete the deal, EA says it couldn't care less as it'll still be Xbox's biggest publisher.