It was one of the possibilities and it is now, the FTC will not validate the takeover of Activision Blizzard. The regulator is suing Microsoft and depending on the outcome, the acquisition could be blocked.
There was Santa Barbara, The Young and the Restless or The Scott Brothers, here is the new, very fashionable soap opera: the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. And today’s episode is particularly piquant.
Activision Blizzard takeover could fall through
Previously in Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard ». While PlayStation and Xbox were vying for custody of the little Call of Duty, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), which ensures that any anti-competitive business practice is prevented, was thinking about taking legal action. The regulatory authority has weighed the pros and cons… and it’s octagonal without a rule!
Indeed, it’s official, the FTC is taking Microsoft to court because it ruled that the acquisition would give Xbox an advantage in the console market, but also in the subscription sector (Xbox Game Pass) and cloud gaming. .
The Xbox maker would gain control over major franchises, allowing it to harm competition in high-performance game consoles and subscription services by denying or degrading access to rivals to its popular content.
The US regulatory authority fears that once the takeover of Activision Blizzard has been validated, Microsoft will seek to deprive its competitors of certain content such as Call of Duty, and takes Zenimax/Bethesda as an example.
Microsoft decided to make several Bethesda titles, including Starfield and Redfall, Xbox exclusives. And this despite assurances given to European antitrust authorities that the company had no interest in preventing the games from being released on competing consoles. Microsoft has already shown that it can and wants to withhold content from its rivals. Today, we seek to prevent Microsoft from taking control of a leading independent studio and using it to harm competition in multiple markets.
Recently, Microsoft made an important deal with Nintendo to bring the Call of Duty franchise to its consoles.
Microsoft’s response to the FTC
Given the decision of the FTC, Microsoft reacted almost immediately by the voice of Brad Smith, the vice-president of the company.
We continue to believe that this acquisition will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and developers. We have been committed since day one to addressing competition concerns, including offering concessions to the FTC earlier this week. We have complete confidence in our case and are prepared to take our case to court.