Activision Takeover: A new complaint against Microsoft could hinder the acquisition

Thunder for the $69 billion acquisition of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft. While there was every reason to believe that a few days ago the US trade agency was about to approve the transaction, Looks like the editor has finally changed his mind.

Indeed, the Federal Trade Commission voted this week To prevent the acquisition of a 3 to 1 favorable lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, December 8, alleges that the deal would make Microsoft a very strong competitor in the video game business and eliminate competition. Our colleagues at Politico were therefore right, as they had already indicated that at the end of last month the organization would file an antitrust complaint against Microsoft.

FTC wants to prevent Microsoft from removing its games from PlayStation

Microsoft has already shown that it can and wants to hide content from gaming competitors.” said Holly Vedova, director of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Competition Bureau. ” Today, we’re trying to prevent Microsoft from taking control of a leading independent game studio and using it to undermine competition in the many dynamic and growing game markets. Miss Vedova added.

In other words, the American trade body fears that Microsoft will pull certain games from PlayStation consoles to make them Xbox-exclusive. In the FTC complaint, he recalls that when Microsoft bought ZeniMax (owner of Bethesda Softworks), it assured European antitrust agencies that it would not withhold games from competing console platforms. However, some time after the deal was made, Starfield and Redfall games became exclusive to Microsoft.

The FTC’s decision to block the acquisition of Activision has been welcomed by consumer rights groups, some of whom have been demanding months from regulators.Take a more proactive approach to major acquisition attempts.

Microsoft says it doesn’t want to create more privileges

It’s been several months since Microsoft repeatedly tried to reassure the public that it was not exclusivity with this acquisition. Lately, The company would have guaranteed that the Call of Duty series would remain on PlayStation platforms for at least 10 years. and that if the deal goes through, it will be available on Nintendo consoles in the same timeframe.

Again, FTC says the acquisition still gives Microsoft an unfair advantage and may Suppressing innovation in these more emerging gaming markets “. Sony has repeatedly strongly opposed the acquisition and said that the deal ” significant negative impacts for gamers and the future of the gaming industry “.

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As might be expected, Microsoft will clearly counterattack. Microsoft President Brad Smith hinted on Thursday that the company is likely to appeal the FTC’s decision. ” While we believe peace should be given a chance, we have full confidence in our cause and welcome the opportunity to present our case in court. said. buy accordingly expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers “.

In a letter to Activision Blizzard employees, CEO Bobby Kotick told staff he wanted it. reaffirm confidence when closing the purchase. ” The claim that this transaction is anti-competitive does not match the facts and we believe that we will win this case. “, he declared.

It will likely take a few weeks to see if this new FTC complaint will derail the deal. This isn’t the first time the FTC has taken legal action to block a major takeover deal. In December 2021, the FTC filed a lawsuit to block the Nvidia-ARM merger, citing similar concerns that Nvidia would shut down certain technologies to gain an advantage over its competitors once it took control of ARM. The operation ultimately failed.