US PlayStation fans suing Microsoft to stop Activision acquisition

Microsoft probably thought this was going to be easy (pic: Activison)

The Federal Trade Commission isn’t the only body trying to stop the Activision Blizzard acquisition in the US, as gamers file their own lawsuit.

If you’re sick of hearing about Microsoft’s attempt to buy Activision Blizzard we’re afraid the issue is not going away and will rumble on for most of next year as well, and perhaps beyond.

Most members of the public in the UK, that thought to right into the CMA about it, are in favour of the deal but EU and US regulators seem to be much more sceptical, to the point where the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) planned a lawsuit to block it (then decided not to, then changed its mind again).

Now a group of ordinary US citizens are attempting something similar, with a private antitrust action in California that argues that the acquisition will create a monopoly that should be prevented by the Clayton antitrust act of 1914.

The group of 10 gamers in California, New Mexico, and New Jersey are primarily PlayStation gamers, with eight saying they play on PlayStation consoles and other formats, whereas only three own Xbox hardware.

Their arguments are similar to others made against the acquisition and claim that it will give Microsoft an unfair advantage and decrease competition in the industry.

In the lawsuit it’s stated that the group want ensure ‘the industry remains competitive, with the utmost innovation, output, choice, and price constraints, now and in the future.’

‘If Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is allowed to proceed, the video game industry may lose substantial competition, and Microsoft may have far-outsized market power, with the ability to foreclose rivals, limit output, reduce consumer choice, raise prices, and further inhibit competition,’ they argue.

How likely they are to be able to stop anything remains to be seen but the various legal actions will at the very least delay the acquisition, which was originally hoped to take place next summer.

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