EU Regulators Respond To FTC Case Against Acti-Blizz Merger, Argues Microsoft Has Been Honest About Redfall And Starfield Exclusivity

The European Commission seems eager to set the record straight.

Anthony Jones
By Anthony Jones, News Editor
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Redfall and Starfield

Responding to the FTC's recent lawsuit against Microsoft's Activision-Blizzard deal, the European Commission has dished out some pushback on the suit. The commission argues Microsoft has been honest about its Xbox exclusivity for Redfall and Starfield and cannot be "used as examples of withholding content," seemingly setting the record straight that the FTC's comment on the publisher locking games to Xbox is a moot point.

From a report by MLex (later released by ResetEra), the EU regulators responded and clarified Microsoft's ZeniMax Media takeover in 2021 and its in-depth probe into the proposed Acti-Blizz deal.

In the FTC's lawsuit, the US organization refers to Redfall and Starfield under ZeniMax as examples of what Microsoft would do with Activision Blizzard games, saying it "can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals." EU regulators say Microsoft didn't make any "commitments" to not "release Xbox-exclusive content following its takeover of ZeniMax Media."

Zenimax Takeover

The EU agency mentioned even if Microsoft restricted access to ZeniMax titles, there wouldn't be a "significant impact on competition." Furthermore, industry rivals would not be "denied access to an 'essential input,' and others consoles would still have a 'large array of attractive content," says the commission.

US enforcers yesterday seemed to have suggested Microsoft "mislead" the European Commission during the ZeniMax acquisition, citing that as reason enough to block the deal. But from its statements responding to the FTC lawsuit, the EU commission sticks to its previous conclusion on the transaction that it "would not raise competition concerns." Its stance on the Acti-Blizz deal seems to be the same.

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About the Author

Anthony Jones
Anthony Jones, News Editor
Anthony Jones is a gaming journalist and late 90s kid in love with retro games and the evolution of modern gaming. He started at Mega Visions as a news reporter covering the latest announcements, rumors, and fan-made projects. FFXIV has his heart in the MMORPGs scene, but he's always excited to analyze and lose hours to ambitious and ambiguous MMOs that gamers follow.

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