Since the start of this year, the FTC Microsoft Activision Blizzard debate has been going on and now, FTC might be starting up a lawsuit to prevent the deal from happening.
Microsoft’s acquisition of video game producer Activision Blizzard may face a big setback as early as next month, according to reports. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the United States is expected to initiate an antitrust complaint to prevent the $69 billion takeover. A lawsuit is not assured, and the FTC’s four commissioners have yet to vote on a complaint or meet with the corporations’ counsel.
FTC Microsoft Activision Blizzard issue might evolve into a lawsuit
According to these sources, the FTC staff examining the agreement is suspicious of the corporations’ reasons. The FTC is concerned that purchasing Activision will give Microsoft an unfair advantage in the video game sector. Microsoft’s Xbox is ranked third, after only Sony Interactive Entertainment and its PlayStation system. Sony is afraid that if Microsoft makes popular games like Call of Duty exclusive to its platforms, Sony would suffer greatly.
Microsoft has promised to keep Call of Duty available on Sony’s Playstation platform and has lately offered Sony access to the game for the next ten years. Activision sent the following comment to FOX Business:
“Any suggestion that the transaction could lead to anticompetitive effects is completely absurd. This merger will benefit gamers and the U.S. gaming industry, especially as we face increasingly stiff competition from abroad. We are committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but won’t hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if required.”
Activision’s stock dropped approximately 4% in extended trade. Microsoft announced the sale in January, calling it the largest game industry transaction in history. Microsoft made the following comment on the matter.
“As we have said before, we are prepared to address the concerns of regulators, including the FTC, and Sony to ensure the deal closes with confidence. We’ll still trail Sony and Tencent in the market after the deal closes, and together Activision and Xbox will benefit gamers and developers and make the industry more competitive..”
The EU launched a comprehensive probe earlier this month. The EU’s competition enforcer stated that it will decide whether to clear or ban the deal by March 23, 2023. While the FTC Microsoft Activision Blizzard controversy is still going on, you might want to check out what happened earlier by reading Microsoft accuses Sony of preventing games coming to Game Pass, or Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard for $68.7B.