Microsoft to defend Activision deal

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Microsoft President Brad Smith will try to persuade EU antitrust regulators on Tuesday in a closed session that its $69 billion bid for “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard will increase competition.

Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been challenged by antitrust regulators in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. The European Union Commission recently sent a statement of objection against the deal, listing several red flags and issues that the parties involved must address, and the company is now preparing to defend the deal.

The hearing will allow Microsoft to gauge public opinion among senior EU and national competition officials, as well as European Commission lawyers, ahead of the submission of antitrust remedies.

“We’re continuing to work with the European Commission to address any marketplace concerns,” Microsoft said in a statement after receiving the statement of objection. “Our goal is to bring more games to more people, and this deal will further that goal.”

After receiving a statement of objection from the EU Commission regarding the deal, the company requested a hearing. The merger was found to have anti-competitive effects by antitrust regulators.

Smith will lead a delegation of 18 senior executives, including Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, while Activision’s CEO Robert Kotick will represent the company.

The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.

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