Call of Duty

PlayStation CEO Reportedly Visited Brussels to Voice Concerns About Xbox's Activision Blizzard Deal

"Google is also said to have voiced its concerns to EU regulators."
"Google is also said to have voiced its concerns to EU regulators." / Alex Wong/GettyImages

Sony president and CEO Jim Ryan reportedly visited European regulators in Brussels to voice PlayStation's concerns over Microsoft's proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

According to Dealreporter (H/T VGC), Ryan personally visited the European Union headquarters on Sept. 8, primarily focusing on future release arrangements for the Call of Duty series.

As reported by Bloomberg in February, the current Call of Duty deal between Sony and Activision Blizzard is believed to remain in place for the franchise's next three releases, including this year's Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0, as well as CoD 2024.

In September, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan said that Microsoft's offer to keep Call of Duty on PS platforms "was inadequate on many levels." Later that month, Sony reportedly said it "welcomes the announcement" that the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority flagged the deal for a second, more in-depth review following its first pass.

In a move that was to be expected, Activision Blizzard announced in late April that more than 98% of the shares voted at the Activision Blizzard Special Meeting of Stockholders were voted in favor of the proposed transaction with Microsoft.

If the transaction closes, Microsoft would become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

Subject to customary closing conditions and the completion of regulatory review, the proposed transaction is expected to close in Microsoft’s fiscal year ending on June 30, 2023.

The major question mark remains as to whether or not Microsoft is able to convince regulators around the world to approve the transaction in the coming months.

Microsoft officially notified the European Commission to examine the deal on Friday, meaning that it now has until Nov. 8, 2022, to either approve the deal or trigger a more in-depth investigation.

In August, Sony reportedly claimed to Brazil’s national competition regulator, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), that Xbox acquiring Call of Duty would be anti-competitive.

Microsoft has maintained that COD would remain a multi-platform franchise for the foreseeable future.