June 14, 2024
FTC Sues to Block Microsoft's Acquisition of Activision Blizzard

FTC Sues to Block Microsoft's Acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Posted December 8, 2022 at 11:05pm by iClarified
The FTC is seeking to block Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard and its gaming franchises, including Call of Duty. The Commission alleges Microsoft's $69 billion deal would allow the company to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming console and cloud gaming business.

Activision 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, including video game consoles, PCs, and mobile devices. It produces some of the most iconic and popular video game titles, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch, and has millions of monthly active users around the world, according to the FTC's complaint. Activision currently has a strategy of offering its games on many devices regardless of producer. But that could change if the deal is allowed to proceed. 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.

"Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals," says Holly Vedova, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition. "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."

The Commission vote to issue the complaint was 3-1, with Commissioner Christine S. Wilson voting no.

President Brad Smith addressed the suit saying, "We continue to believe that our deal to acquire Activision Blizzard will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers. We have been committed since Day One to addressing competition concerns, including by offering earlier this week proposed concessions to the FTC. While we believe in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present it in court."

Earlier this week, Microsoft entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo following the merger. It offered Sony a similar 10-year commitment, and it's promised to continue to offer Call of Duty on Steam simultaneously to Xbox.

More details about the complaint at the link below...

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FTC Sues to Block Microsoft's Acquisition of Activision Blizzard
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McApple1 - December 9, 2022 at 12:16am
Exactly. It doesn’t even feel right with some game franchises owned by them as if they were to become Xbox exclusive.
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