FTC seeks to block Microsoft Corp.'s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Inc.2022-12-09 18:52 by Daniela
Tags: FTC, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard
The United States trade regulator has filed a complaint aimed at blocking tech giant Microsoft's $69bn bid to buy "Call of Duty" games maker Activision.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which enforces antitrust law, asked a judge to block the transaction on Thursday, arguing that the merger would allow Microsoft's Xbox to get exclusive access to Activision games, leaving Nintendo consoles and Sony's PlayStation out in the cold.
The vote from the FTC commissioners today means Microsoft now faces significant hurdles to getting its Activision Blizzard deal complete. Regulators in the UK and EU are also scrutinizing the deal closely, despite Microsoft’s repeated attempts to appease regulators.
"Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals," Holly Vedova, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said in a statement. "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."
"We continue to believe that this deal will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers," Brad Smith, Microsoft's vice chair and president, said in a statement to The Verge. "We have been committed since Day One to addressing competition concerns, including by offering earlier this week proposed concessions to the FTC. While we believed in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present our case in court."
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