While the European Union (EU) and the European Commission (EC) regulator has taken Big Tech to task on cloud, browser, advertising, tax, and mobile issues, it has largely left gaming alone. That is changing this week as the EU jumps into a new initiative, possibly driven by Microsoft’s agreement to buy Activision Blizzard for $69bn.
This week, the EC announced it has begun an investigation into that merger, citing concerns over monopolization. On Thursday, the EU introduced new legislation specifically focusing on gaming and esports.
According to the legislative branch, the new resolution will recognize the impact esports and games have on the economy and culture. Now, the EU will develop regulatory frameworks and investment plans to not only promote the industry but also hold it to task when necessary.
The resolution flew through the European Parliament with members (MEPs) passing it with a vote of 560 in favor and just 34 against. A further 16 chose to abstain.
Committee for Culture and Education (CULT) Rappoteur Laurence Farreng led the resolution, speaking on the Parliament floor on November 9. According to Farreng, the under-representation of women is one are where the EU can take action to encourage change in the gaming/esports world.
This week, the EC announced it would start a formal investigation into Microsoft’s proposed takeover of Activision Blizzard. In an announcement, the EC says the review is designed to assess whether Microsoft could have a monopoly if the deal goes ahead.
Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy, says:
“We must ensure that opportunities remain for future and existing distributors of PC and console video games, as well as for rival suppliers of PC operating systems. The point is to ensure that the gaming ecosystem remains vibrant to the benefit of users in a sector that is evolving at a fast pace. Our in-depth investigation will assess how the deal affects the gaming supply chain.”
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