The European Union is ready to challenge Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion deal to buy video game producer Activision Blizzard, potentially making it even more difficult for the tech giant to complete the acquisition.
According to reports, the European Commission is preparing a charge sheet known as a statement of objections which will lay out the antitrust concerns it has about the deal and be sent to Microsoft in the next few weeks.
Microsoft said in a statement: “We’re continuing to work with the European Commission to address any marketplace concerns. Our goal is to bring more games to more people, and this deal will further that goal.”
Microsoft announced the deal last January, but U.S. and U.K. regulators have since voiced concerns about it. The Federal Trade Commission is attempting to block the deal in court.
Earlier this month the U.K.’s Competition and Markets authority was forced to extend its investigation into the deal, after receiving lengthy responses from Microsoft and competitor Sony.
Activision Blizzard is the creator of one of the world’s most popular video games, Call of Duty. The acquisition has been called into question by Microsoft competitor Sony, which believes the deal could make it difficult for Sony to sell the game on its PlayStation console. Microsoft recently signed a 10-year agreement with Nintendo for Call of Duty to be available on the console, and said it was open to a similar deal with Sony.
Reuters reports Microsoft was expected to offer remedies to avert a statement of charge from the E.U. regulators and also to shorten the regulatory process. The European Commission is apparently not open to remedies prior to sending the charge sheet.