European Game Dev Group Supports Microsoft Merger Despite EU Objection

One of Europe's largest trade associations has come out in favor of the Microsoft Activision Blizzard merger despite objections from the European Union.

As spotted by Xbox news guy Idle Sloth, the European Games Developer Federation (EGDF) has released a statement in favor of the merger. The EGDF "unites 23 national trade associations representing game development studios based in 22 European countries" with over 2,500 game development studios employing over 40,000 people.

"EGDF supports Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition, as its potential positive impacts on the competition in the game markets, in general, outweigh the limited console and subscription market-specific competition concerns," wrote the Federation. "Furthermore, in the console game markets, Sony is a clear market leader with its PlayStation platform, and Microsoft is still in the challenger position."

Much of the EDGF's statement mirrors Microsoft's own statements confirming even after the merger it would still be far behind Sony and PlayStation in terms of both exclusive games and home console sales. However, the EGDF did note that Microsoft has the ability for anti-competitive market behavior" and has taken games exclusive even after saying it wouldn't, which seems very relevant given Microsoft's assurances that it will keep Call of Duty on rival platforms for at least 10 years if the merger were to proceed.

The EGDF also noted that Microsoft could compete with Apple and Google in the mobile space with Activision Blizzard King on board, and it would be able to take on Chinese tech giant Tencent as the world's leading game publisher.

Even with the support of the EGDF, Microsoft's prospects with this merger are far from guaranteed. In Europe, the EU Commission is expected to release a statement of objections that Microsoft would have to remedy in order for the merger to receive approval before the EU deadline of April 11. And there's also the FTC lawsuit that seems to block the merger entirely, which seems likely to go to trial.

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