Activision Blizzard: the takeover by Microsoft is even more complicated

Activision Blizzard: the takeover by Microsoft is even more complicated

The acquisition of Activision Blizzard is still experiencing a rebound. Microsoft could be taken to court over its acquisition. By PlayStation or Nintendo?

The process of acquiring Activision Blizzard could be complicated for Microsoft. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission), the independent American agency whose role is to prevent any anti-competitive commercial practice, could attack the giant.

The takeover of Activision Blizzard under the eye of the FTC

At the pace where things are going, there will be as many news on the takeover of Activision Blizzard as episodes of Plus belle la vie (RIP little angel gone too soon? late?). After PlayStation, another entity with far more legal powers could stand in Microsoft’s way.

According to the sources of Politico, citing three people familiar with the matter, the FTC is likely to take legal action to block the acquisition. If the agency went to the end of this process, it would be “the biggest step taken by the agency under the presidency of Lina Khan to limit the power of the most important technology companies in the world” can we read. Nominated by Joe Biden in 2021, Lina Khan is renowned for her criticism of the dominant position of GAFAM, a “antitrust heroine”.

For the time being, it must be understood that nothing is decided because the commissioners of the agency must vote in favor of an anti-competitive complaint, or choose to meet with the lawyers of the companies. So is the deal to buy Activision Blizzard about to fall apart?

An acquisition in danger? There are precedents

We are clearly not there and very smart will be the one who will say how all this will end, for good or for bad. As clarified by Politico, the FTC is “likely” to take action and if it goes to any lengths, then a legal battle will begin, the outcome of which we obviously do not know.

On the other hand, the American agency in charge of the application of consumer law and the control of anti-competitive commercial practices has already achieved its goals. In 2021, she went to court to counter the takeover of ARM by Nvidia since she believed that the acquisition was a brake on innovation and that it did not respect the rules of competition. Confident despite this obstacle, Nvidia finally gave up buying ARM in February 2022 because of “significant regulatory challenges”.

The other blow of the FTC is to have derailed the deal around Within, a fitness application in virtual reality coveted by Meta. accused of wanting “to absorb the competition” on this market, Mark Zuckerberg’s company withdrew, avoiding a lawsuit in the process. Nevertheless, Facebook will be well prosecuted for dominant position in the field of social networks. The company also owning Whatsapp and Instagram.

So we see the rules have become extremely tough in a few years, and the extent of the takeover of Activision Blizzard does not help Microsoft in its task.

Google also against the Activision Blizzard X Microsoft merger?

If PlayStation, Nintendo and publishers have been heard in the context of the takeover of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, another player would be ready to take out their fangs: Google. The giant accuses Microsoft of having deliberately degraded the quality of Xbox Game Pass under Chrome.

If you missed the other revelations, you can consult this article where you will find other of our news on the subject.

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