FTC Sues: Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is one of the most significant technology acquisitions in history. The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to stop the deal on Thursday.
The FTC filed an administrative complaint on Thursday, claiming the mega-merger would give Microsoft “both the means and motive to harm competition,” which could hurt video game prices, game quality, and player experiences across consoles and gaming services.
Microsoft President Brad Smith said on Thursday, “We continue to think this deal will expand competition and generate more options for gamers and game creators.” Since the beginning, we have been dedicated to addressing competition issues, and just this week, we proposed concessions to the FTC.
While we want to work toward a peaceful resolution, we are ready and willing to state our case in court. The CEO of Activision, Bobby Kotick, assured staff in an email obtained by CNN that despite the “alarming” tone of the FTC suit, he is still confident that the deal will go through.
‘The claim that this deal is anti-competitive doesn’t fit with the facts, and we believe we’ll win this case,’ he said. Microsoft has been actively courting regulators worldwide to convince them to bless the transaction, so the US merger challenge represents the most significant obstacle yet.
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It also highlights US officials’ public vows of an aggressive antitrust enforcement strategy. It is the FTC’s biggest considerable threat to the internet industry since it sued to break up Facebook owner Meta in 2020.
According to William Kovacic, a law professor at George Washington University and former chairman of the FTC, “this is the most serious attempt the Biden administration has made so far to oversee transactions involving Big Tech and to expand the field of merger regulation.”
This action, more than any other, illustrates their determination to crack down on mergers. At a time when US antitrust enforcers have deliberately pursued challenging cases to test the law and stay up with developments in technology, this case could also mark a turning point for how regulators and the courts examine proposed acquisitions.
Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Microsoft would acquire significant video game properties like “Call of Duty,” “World of Warcraft,” and others. The FTC has warned that this might give it considerable control over a multibillion-dollar industry’s trajectory.
In a statement, FTC Director of the Bureau of Competition Holly Vedova stated, “Today we seek to prohibit Microsoft from acquiring control over a leading independent game company and using it to damage competition in many dynamic and fast-growing gaming areas.”
The European Union and the United Kingdom have conducted antitrust reviews of the transaction. As far as we know, the FTC complaint is the first attempt by an antitrust regulator to halt the merger in its tracks.
The Federal Trade Commission has expressed concern that Microsoft could exploit its ownership of Activision properties to increase pricing or attempt to channel consumers into Microsoft-controlled platforms like Xbox and Windows.
The FTC also noted that Microsoft’s subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, operates in the burgeoning market for cloud-based gaming services, which the merger could impact. Microsoft has recently announced several agreements to deflect accusations that it will withhold game content from competitors.
Microsoft announced this week that it had signed a 10-year contract with Nintendo to ensure that the company will continue to have access to Call of Duty for the foreseeable future. Likewise, now we can see people searching for FTC Sues.
Microsoft’s Smith argued in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on Monday that the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) lawsuit to block the Activision deal would be a “huge mistake” and that the acquisition would allow Microsoft to innovate new features, such as allowing consumers to play the same game across multiple devices, similar to how they can stream television shows or music.
Microsoft issued an 11-point promise covering all of its app stores and gaming division in February. The list included a pledge to not favor its published games on digital markets it operates, which would apply to the potential Activision agreement.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a complaint rather than rubbing it in federal court. It has used an internal administrative process. According to Kovacic, the FTC might have a theoretical edge in such a case since an FTC administrative law judge might be more willing to side with regulators.
He also noted that the matter may take years to resolve and that the FTC must gather substantial evidence and persuasive arguments. If you find this interesting, please forward it to your friends. Visit Lighthousejournal.org for the most up-to-date and recent celebrity news.
For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.