Report: FTC ‘likely’ to sue to block Microsoft/Activision merger

Report: FTC 'likely' to sue to block Microsoft/Activision merger
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Just a few of the Activision franchises that will become Microsoft property once the acquisition is complete.
expand / Just a few of the Activision franchises that will become Microsoft property once the acquisition is complete.

Microsoft / Activation

The Federal Trade Commission will “probably” take action to file an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. $69 billion merger deal planned by companies. TRUE and a new Politico report “three” quote [unnamed] people who know about it.”

While Politico writes that a lawsuit is still “not guaranteed”, it adds that FTC employees “are skeptical of companies’ arguments that the deal will not be anticompetitive.” Sources also confirmed that “most of the heavy burdens have been completed” in the commission’s investigation and that lawsuits could be filed as early as next month.

Sony, the main competitor of Microsoft’s proposed acquisition, you discussed publicly Three-year contractual warranty available to protect Activision’s bestseller Call of Duty The franchise on PlayStation is “inadequate on many levels”. In response, Microsoft Xbox President Phil Spencer you made a public promise continue shipping Call of Duty Games on PlayStation “as long as there is a PlayStation to ship”. Still, it’s unclear whether the companies are keeping this offer a legal deal; New York Times reported this week Microsoft offers a “10-year deal” to continue Call of Duty PlayStation.”

Numerous statements from Microsoft executives, including Spencer, showed that the company was less concerned with strengthening its position in the “console wars” and more concerned with increasing its power. mobile, cloud gamesand Game Pass subscription offers. Beyond Call of DutyPolitico reported that the FTC is concerned about how Microsoft can “take advantage of future, unannounced games to improve its gaming business.”

“It is ready to address the concerns of regulators, including the FTC and Sony, to ensure the deal closes safely,” Microsoft spokesman David Cuddy told Politico. “We will continue to lag behind Sony and Tencent in the market after the deal closes, and together Activision and Xbox will benefit gamers and developers and make the industry more competitive.”

Lots of speed bumps left

Reports of a potential FTC lawsuit are adding to a growing list of disturbing signals from various international governments about the proposed acquisition. Earlier this month, the European Commission ‘in-depth investigation’ of the deal begins. in the UK a similar “Phase 2” investigation A hearing is scheduled for next month by the country’s Competition and Markets Authority.

those international investigations expected to be finished in march, to ensure that the proposed deal does not close before then, and to give the FTC a period of time before it has to file a lawsuit. Such a case would need to be approved by a majority of the four current FTC commissioners, and possibly administrative court of the FTC. And regardless of the outcome, legal maneuvering in the case could easily delay the planned merger, at which point both companies would be forced to renegotiate or abandon the deal.

An FTC lawsuit on this issue would be the strongest sign yet of a robust antitrust enforcement regime led by FTC chairman Lina Kahn. Called to duty in June. In July, Kahn Announces that an antitrust lawsuit has been filed against Meta (formerly Facebook) and its Offered to buy Within for $400 millionMakers of the VR fitness app Supernatural.

Three months after Microsoft announced the proposed acquisition in January, a group of four US Senators wrote an open letter He strongly encourages the FTC to take a close look at the deal. Last month, merger news site Dealreporter aforementioned FTC personnel had expressed “major concerns” about the deal. And this week, The New York Times quoted “two people.” reporting He said the FTC reached out to other companies for affidavits outlining their concerns about the deal, as a possible sign of litigation preparations.

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