FTC wants to prevent Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard11. December 2022
FTC wants to prevent Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an antitrust complaint to try to block Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard.
The FTC began reviewing the deal after it was announced in January. On Thursday, the agency argued that the acquisition could stifle competition in game consoles, subscription content and cloud gaming.
In its complaint, the FTC claimed that the deal would provide Microsoft “means and motives to harm competition,” potentially impacting video game pricing, quality and experiences.
The agency cited previous Microsoft acquisitions, including Bethesda Softworks, as examples of Microsoft making some games Xbox-exclusive, though it has vowed not to.
The filing of the lawsuit was previously approved by FTC commissioners in a 3-1 vote during a closed session. The dissenting vote came from the sole Republican member of the commission.
Microsoft President Brad Smith said the company has addressed competition concerns from the start, including concessions proposed to the FTC earlier this week.
On Wednesday, Microsoft announced a 10-year deal to bring Call of Duty games to Nintendo platforms after the acquisition closes.
Microsoft has been pressuring Sony into making a similar deal, which the Playstation maker has so far refused to do.