FTC Might File Antitrust Lawsuit To Stop Microsoft’s Activision Deal

The FTC, like these two European regulators, is concerned that the acquisition will give Microsoft an unfair advantage in the gaming sector and may significantly reduce market competition.

FTC Might File Antitrust Lawsuit To Stop Microsoft's Activision Deal - SurgeZirc US
FTC Might File Antitrust Lawsuit To Stop Microsoft's Activision Deal.

Antitrust regulators in several countries are looking into Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. In the United States, for example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began investigating the acquisition soon after it was announced.

According to Politico, the FTC is now ready to act and will likely file an antitrust lawsuit to stop Microsoft’s massive acquisition.

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According to Politico’s sources, Microsoft’s arguments failed to persuade the FTC staff reviewing the deal, but the agency’s commissioners have yet to vote on filing a complaint or meeting with lawyers.

While a lawsuit is not guaranteed, the commission is reportedly finished with the most important parts of the investigation, including depositions of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick.

If the FTC eventually decides to sue, it could do so as soon as next month. According to the publication, the commission will most likely file the case in its own in-house administrative court because it does not need to go to federal court first to seek a temporary injunction.

Because other regulators are also looking into the acquisition, it won’t be able to go through until next year (if it is allowed to go through at all).

In the United Kingdom, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an extensive investigation into the transaction in September. Recently, the European Commission announced that it will conduct a full-scale investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition.

The FTC, like these two European regulators, is concerned that the acquisition will give Microsoft an unfair advantage in the gaming sector and may significantly reduce market competition.

Sony has been one of the most vocal opponents of the deal, expressing concerns that Microsoft may make valuable IPs such as Call of Duty an Xbox exclusive.

Sony PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan previously revealed that Microsoft only offered to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement expires.

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However, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer recently stated that the company is “not taking Call of Duty away from PlayStation.”

Microsoft argued in its most recent filing with the CMA that the acquisition will not give it an unfair advantage: Sony has more exclusive games than the Xbox, and many of them are of “better quality.”

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