Home » Report: FTC “likely” to file suit to block Microsoft/Activision merger

Report: FTC “likely” to file suit to block Microsoft/Activision merger

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Expanding / These are just a few of the Activision franchises that will become Microsoft’s property once the acquisition is completed.

Microsoft / Activision

Federal Trade Commission likely to file antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft and Activision Blizzard The companies plan a $69 billion merger deal. according to it new political report Quote “three” [unnamed] knowledgeable person. “

Politico writes that the lawsuit is still “uninsured,” but adds that FTC staff are “skeptical of both companies’ claims” that the deal is not anti-competitive. The sources also confirmed that “most of the hard work has been completed” in the commission’s investigation, and the lawsuit could be filed as early as next month.

Sony, the main opponent of Microsoft’s proposed acquisition, publicly claimed 3-year warranty on existing contracts to keep Activision bestsellers call of duty The PlayStation franchise falls short on many levels. made a pledge continue shipping call of duty PlayStation games are available “as long as there’s a PlayStation to ship to”.new york times reported this week Microsoft’s Proposal to ‘Keep Your Contract for 10 Years’ call of duty on playstation. “

Statements by many Microsoft executives, including Spencer, suggest that the company isn’t interested in strengthening its position in the “console wars,” but rather increasing its position. mobile, cloud gamingWhen game pass subscription offering.Beyond call of dutyPolitico reports that the FTC is concerned about how Microsoft will “leverage future unannounced titles to boost its gaming business.”

Microsoft is “ready to address the concerns of regulators, including the FTC, and Sony, and confidently close the deal,” spokesman David Cuddy told Politico. “After the transaction closes, we will continue to lag behind Sony and Tencent in the market, but the collaboration between Activision and Xbox will benefit gamers and developers and make the industry more competitive. I can do it.”

Lots of speed bumps left

Reports of potential FTC lawsuits add to a growing list of troubling signals about proposed purchases from various international governments. Earlier this month, the European Commission Proceed to “Deep Investigation” of the transaction. In the UK, A similar “Phase 2” study A public hearing is scheduled for next month by the country’s competition and market authorities.

International search for them Expected to end in Marchto ensure that the proposed transaction does not close by then and to give the FTC time before filing a lawsuit. FTC Administrative CourtAnd whatever the outcome, legal manipulation in this lawsuit could easily delay the planned merger beyond the July 2023 contract deadline, at which point the two companies could renegotiate. or have to abandon the deal.

The FTC lawsuit on this issue is also the strongest sign yet of a strong antitrust enforcement regime under FTC Chairman Rina Khan. Inaugurated in JuneKhan back in July Announced antitrust lawsuit against Meta (formerly Facebook) and its Proposed $400 million acquisition of Withinthe maker of VR fitness apps Super natural.

Three months after Microsoft’s takeover offer was announced in January, a group of four U.S. senators wrote an open letter We are urging the FTC to take a closer look at this transaction. Last month, merger news site Dealreporter Said FTC staff had expressed “serious concerns” about the transaction.And this week, The New York Times quoted ‘two people’ report The fact that the FTC has reached out to other companies and filed affidavits expressing concerns about the deal could be a sign of litigation readiness.

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