Microsoft announced it has agreed to partnerships with Nvidia and Nintendo as it tries to convince European Union officials to approve its $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard — the company behind the popular game franchise Call of Duty.
Microsoft President Brad Smith had a closed-door meeting Tuesday with EU regulators and competitors in Brussels to address concerns that its acquisition of Activision Blizzard could hurt competition in the video game industry. The deal has also come under scrutiny from regulators in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Microsoft (MSFT) said that it has entered into a 10-year partnership with Nvidia to bring Xbox PC games to Nvidia’s cloud gaming service. In a statement, the software giant said the partnership “resolves Nvidia’s concerns with Activision Blizzard. Nvidia therefore is offering its full support for regulatory approval of the acquisition.”
Microsoft also revealed it has finalized a 10-year agreement to bring the latest version of “Call of Duty” to the Nintendo platform once the merger with Activision is completed.
Smith told CNN’s Richard Quest on Tuesday that “a lot changed today because Microsoft has announced two agreements that together will bring Call of Duty, the game that everyone has been talking about, to 150 million more people on Nintendo devices and Nvidia’s cloud streaming services.” He went on to say these two deals address the concern that Call of Duty will be less available than it is today and will be more available instead due to these two binding agreements.
“We’re really down to one principal company that is objecting to this deal, and that’s Sony, and we’ve made clear that we’re happy to enter a 10-year agreement with Sony and we’re prepared to enter regulatory obligations as well, whether it’s London or Brussels or Washington,” Smith said. “So, in addition to a contract, we’d have a duty under the law.”