It's Official: Despite Microsoft's Recent Efforts, The US FTC Is Suing To Block The Activision Blizzard Purchase

Looks like earlier rumors were true and now we've got an interesting path forward to watch.

Michael Byrne
By Michael Byrne, Editor in Chief
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Microsoft Response To Sony

Just 2 weeks after rumors started making the rounds, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that it will, in fact, be suing to try and block the Microsoft purchase of Activision Blizzard and their announcement uses a lot of the arguments that we've been hearing from Sony in other legislative bodies around the globe.

“Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals,” said 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.”

"Can and will" is in reference to Microsoft's $7.5 billion purchase of Bethesda and Microsoft's desire to make the upcoming Starfield and Redfall titles exclusive to PC and Xbox consoles. The FTC feels that the proposed $69 billion deal for Activision Blizzard would give Microsoft too much leverage over competitors as Activision Blizzard is one of the few "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."

Titles like World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Diablo, and Overwatch, combined with Activision Blizzard's 154 million monthly active users around the world, would be too much for Microsoft to hold in the FTC's estimation. This influence over the gaming market would present a negative impact overall as the deal would be "Microsoft’s largest ever and the largest ever in the video gaming industry."

This weight would allow Microsoft to suppress competition in the longer term, even if the company were to negotiate deals for 10-year licenses, as Microsoft has been doing the past few weeks.

Time to sit back and watch how it all plays out in court, now. The FTC's vote on this challenge was 3-1.

Obviously, Activision isn't pleased and their CCO has already taken to Twitter prepping for their day in court.

Note: Activision Blizzard is still under investigation by the state of California for serious harassment charges. CEO Bobby Kotick is alleged to have known about such actions within his company – and performed some himself – and shielded the perpetrators from consequences.

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In this article: Microsoft, Activision Blizzard.

About the Author

Michael Byrne
Michael Byrne, Editor in Chief
Mike “Magicman” Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site’s current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.

Discussion (1)

dysnomia 1 month ago
When is this going to court decision?


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