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The EU will reportedly let Microsoft buy Activision Blizzard without selling Call of Duty

This is a promotional image of Call of Duty World at War

Microsoft's quest to acquire game publisher Activision Blizzard is entering its final phase. If a new report is accurate, one big hurdle toward completing the $69 billion deal may have been removed.

Reuters reports, via unnamed sources, that the European Union and its executive arm, the European Commission, will allow the merger without Microsoft being forced to sell off some of Activision Blizzard's properties. While the EC is not supposed to give its final verdict until April 25, Microsoft's efforts to get around the Commission's antitrust concerns might have paid off.

Specifically, Microsoft has pledged to release future games in Activision's hit Call of Duty series for NVIDIA's GeForce Now game streaming service, and for Nintendo game consoles, for the next 10 years. In Nintendo's case, that might have to wait until the company launches its successor to the Switch console as it might not have the horsepower to run current Call of Duty games.

Microsoft has also said it wants to commit similarly to Sony's PlayStation consoles, but so far, Sony has refused to sign any such agreement.

Even if the EU allows the merger, Microsoft still has to deal with the concerns of the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which thinks that the merger will mean less competition in the games industry. The US Federal Trade Commission has also said in the past it might block the acquisition as well. Having said that, approval from the EU might cause the other regulators to follow suit.

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