Microsoft’s takeover of Activision-Blizzard may fail with this latest change

The biggest acquisition in video game history may not happen. After spending months defending his case against various international competition regulators, mainly in Europe, Microsoft risks stalemate in acquiring Activision-Blizzard. Politico media detonated the bomb in an article published Wednesday (November 23rd). US competition watchdog FTC prepares Legal action against the Redmond firmclearly for the purpose of blocking the transaction.

The information was relayed by three sources close to the case who remained anonymous. But the latter states that nothing is official yet, even within the FTC. Indeed, the organization’s four commissioners still have to agree during a vote and then meet with the two companies’ lawyers. However, the witnesses agreed. High probability of complaint. This will be one of the biggest cases involving the FTC in recent years.

US may block acquisition of Activision-Blizzard at the last moment

This complaint is by no means trivial in the present context. In the effect, Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard have until July 2023 to complete the deal, otherwise it will be cancelled. Let’s just say that a complaint about the American giant in the coming weeks will significantly slow down the process to the point of no return and force the two companies to abandon the project.

Meanwhile, the internal investigation is still ongoing, although at an advanced stage. According to anonymous sources, the FTC took statements from Satya Nadella and Bobby Kotick, CEOs of Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard, respectively. If there is a complaint, this should be filed next month By American justice, by January at the latest.

However, it all started well for Microsoft, which got its first approval from Saudi Arabia last August and followed closely by many other countries. But Strong response from Sonychanged the situation, along with concerns from major European and American regulators. In recent months, the Redmond firm has repeatedly said: It is not his intention to harm Sony in any way.he even goes so far as to directly praise his opponent.

xbox system update

Many, the trick is at Call of Duty levelOne of the largest video game licenses available, currently owned by Activision-Blizzard, which will therefore come under the Microsoft banner if the takeover occurs. Sony fears the franchise will be exclusive to Xbox. To ease the tension, Microsoft even offered a contract mandating it to release the next Call of Duty on PlayStation for another 10 years. Obviously fail.

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Even Google opposes the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard

But Call of Duty is not the FTC’s primary concern. The organization is afraid of Takeover destabilizes video game market, including some games that haven’t been announced yet. Surprisingly, Politico cites Google as a competitor to the takeover. The Mountain View firm does indeed accuse the vice of possessing it. It deliberately restricted the quality of Xbox Game Pass on its Chromebooks. According to him, the acquisition of Activision-Blizzard will encourage Microsoft to continue on this path.

“Any suggestion that the transaction may have anti-competitive effects is utter nonsense.”It angered Activision spokesperson Joe Christinat. “This merger will benefit gamers and the US video game industry, especially at a time when we face increasingly tough foreign competition. We are committed to continuing to work collaboratively with regulators around the world to ensure the transaction is complete, but we will not hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if necessary. »

Source : Policy