Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is under scrutiny by antitrust investigators in various countries. For example, in the US, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began investigating the acquisition shortly after it was announced. Now, the FTC is reportedly ready to take action and will likely file an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft’s major acquisition. Policy. Microsoft failed to convince FTC staff who reviewed the deal with their arguments, of Politico The sources said, however, that the agency’s commissioners have yet to vote on filing a complaint or meeting with lawyers.
While a lawsuit is yet to be 100 percent guaranteed, the commission is reportedly complete with the bulk of the investigation, including testimonies from Microsoft chief Satya Nadella and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. If the FTC ultimately decides to file a lawsuit, it could do so as soon as next month. The publication says the commission will likely file the case in its own in-house administrative court, as it doesn’t need to take it to federal court first to get an interim injunction. It won’t be able to continue until next year (if this is eventually allowed) while other regulators are also investigating the acquisition.
In the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an in-depth investigation into the deal in September. And more recently, the European Commission announced that it will conduct a thorough investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition. Like these two European regulators, the FTC is concerned that the acquisition would give Microsoft an unfair advantage in the gaming industry and could significantly reduce competition in the market.
Sony was one of the loudest voices to oppose the deal, raising concerns that Microsoft could make valuable IPs such as: Call of Duty Exclusive to Xbox. Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony PlayStation, previously announced that Microsoft only offered to keep it. Call of Duty available on PlayStation for three years after the current contract expires. But Xbox chief Phil Spencer more recently said that the company’s ” Call of Duty In Microsoft’s recent filing with the CMA, he argued that the acquisition would not give him an unfair advantage: He said Sony had more exclusive games than the Xbox, and many of them were “better quality”.
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