The FTC Announced It Will Seek to Block Microsoft From Acquiring Activision Blizzard: The FTC has stated that it intends to file an antitrust lawsuit to prevent Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
An official press statement from the organization claims that Xbox “gain control of top video game franchises” because of this “harm competition in high-performance gaming consoles and subscription services by denying or degrading rivals’ access to its popular content.”
The FTC has mentioned Microsoft’s history of buying up video game properties “to suppress competition from rival consoles, including its acquisition of ZeniMax, parent company of Bethesda Softworks.”
According to the FTC, Microsoft is unfairly discriminating against competing platforms by keeping titles off of them, such as the upcoming Xbox One exclusives Starfield and Redfall.
In January of 2022, Microsoft revealed it will be purchasing Activision Blizzard for about $69 billion. The acquisition would add a large number of developers to the Xbox first-party studios family and bring the company’s portfolio of brands, including Call of Duty and Warcraft, to the Xbox platform.
Sony, Xbox’s console rival, has voiced strong objection to the impending acquisition and called for more research into it. Microsoft has sought to pacify Sony by assuring them that Call of Duty will continue to be available on PlayStation systems, and by recently announcing plans to bring the series to the Nintendo Switch and maintain the title on Steam.
It’s unclear what the lawsuit would imply for the purchase, but after it was announced, Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith tweeted that the business will continue to defend itself.” continue to believe that [its] deal to acquire Activision Blizzard will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers.
” Smith also reassured customers that the firm is dedicated to its success in a subsequent tweet. “since Day One to addressing competition concerns.”
“This sounds alarming, so I want to reinforce my confidence that this deal will close, “In an internal document obtained by Axios, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick made the announcement.”We believe these arguments will win despite a regulatory environment focused on ideaology and misconceptions about the tech industry.”