Thursday, November 24, 2022
Microsoft's huge $70 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is set to be hit by an antitrust lawsuit from the US Federal Trade Commission, according to a report by Politico.
According to the publication's sources, the FTC is looking likely to file the antitrust lawsuit within the next month, in order to block the deal from going through, although as it stands a lawsuit to challenge the deal “is not guaranteed”.
The reasoning behind the possible action is due to concerns that the acqusition would give Microsoft an “unfair boost” compared to its competitors, particularly PlayStation, with the Call of Duty franchise proving to be the biggest talking point.
“Any suggestion that the transaction could lead to anticomp effects is completely absurd. This merger will benefit gamers and the US gaming industry, especially as we face increasingly stiff competition from abroad,” said Activision spokesperson Joe Christinat.
“We are committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but will not hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if required.”
According to Politico, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard need to complete the deal by July, to avoid the need to renegotiate the deal. If the FTC filed a lawsuit within the next few months, it would likely stop the deal being completed by July, and could see the two companies change or even abandon the deal.
The FTC isn't the first organisation to challenge Microsoft on the deal, with the UK Competition and Markets Authority also launching an investigation into the deal.
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