EU moves Microsoft-Activision deal deadline review to April 25

March 2, 2023

The European Commission said it is extending the review for Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion Activision merger to April 25. The information was shared in a website filing of the watchdog on Wednesday.

The European competition watchdog is still one of the regulators scrutinizing the megadeal. Recently, it sent Microsoft a statement of objection that detailed its concerns about the possible anti-competitive results of the deal. Last week, the software giant addressed this in a closed-door hearing with the European Union regulators in Brussels. The EU was originally expected to finalize the review by April 11, but it made a quick announcement this week, saying this will be moved by about two weeks. The EU didn’t provide any reason for the decision, but it can be recalled that Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, recently stressed that it wouldn’t rush decisions regarding such cases.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Vestager was asked about UK’s Competition and Markets Authority’s “very quick read on the situation” and whether authorities like her are in a race to produce decisions regarding mergers. The commissioner, however, underscored that regulators “cannot be in a race” and shared that European regulators have the “highest bar” regarding such a matter. 

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