FTC suing to block Microsoft’s $69bn Activision Blizzard acquisition

The United States government’s Federal Trade Commission is suing to block Microsoft’s $69bn USD acquisition of Activision Blizzard, claiming the deal would allow the company to suppress its games industry competition.

In a news release announcing the lawsuit, the FTC pointed to Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax in 2021, and the company’s subsequent decision to make games from its subsidiaries – namely Bethesda’s Starfield and Redfall – exclusive to Microsoft devices, despite previously assuring European regulators it had no incentive to withhold games from rival consoles.

“Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals,” the FTC’s director of bureau competition Holly Vedova said in a statement. “Today we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets.”

Why is Sony worried about Call of Duty on PlayStation 6?

The FTC goes on to say Activision Blizzard is “one of only a very small number of top video game developers in the world that create and publish high-quality video games for multiple devices”, before noting the publisher’s titles – which include the likes of Call of Duty, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft – currently attract 154 million monthly active users between them.

“But that could change if the deal is allowed to proceed,” the FTC adds. “With control over Activision’s blockbuster franchises, Microsoft would have both the means and motive to harm competition by manipulating Activision’s pricing, degrading Activision’s game quality or player experience on rival consoles and gaming services, changing the terms and timing of access to Activision’s content, or withholding content from competitors entirely, resulting in harm to consumers.”

A report by the Washington Post expands on the FTC’s arguments, saying its lawsuit adds the Activision Blizzard deal would give Microsoft an unfair advantage – and dampen innovation – in areas such as gaming subscription services and cloud gaming.

The FTC is the first regulator to attempt to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard; several other countries, including Saudi Arabia and Brazil, have already approved the deal.

However, the acquisition currently remains under close scrutiny in both the UK and Europe, where each regulatory body is independently set to announce the findings of a more “in-depth” phase 2 review of the proposal early next year.

Source link

Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.