A new report claims the FTC, one of the most powerful agencies in the United States, will block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced it planned to buy Activision for just $70 billion, making it the largest deal in gaming history. This immediately received a lot of opposition from regulators, politicians and gamers. Many feared that this could lead to Call of Duty – a series that just released a game with the biggest entertainment launch of 2022 – becoming an Xbox exclusive. Microsoft has addressed these concerns by stating that it intends to treat Call of Duty as if it were Minecraft, which has persisted and is properly supported on PlayStation and other devices. Still, some are not convinced. Microsoft apparently tried to guarantee that Call of Duty would continue to appear on PlayStation for 10 years, but that may not matter.
According to politics, the FTC will likely block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision through an antitrust suit, which would be incredibly damaging. It’s important to note that Politico stated that this is not guaranteed, but that FTC personnel are “skeptical” of Microsoft’s case for the deal. The agency is concerned that games like Call of Duty that have the option to become exclusives on Xbox would give an unfair advantage over PlayStation and potentially create less choice and options for players.
“Any suggestion that the transaction could lead to anti-comp effects is completely absurd. This merger will benefit gamers and the US gaming industry, especially as we face increasingly fierce competition from abroad,” Activision- spokesman Joe Christinat to Politico. “We are committed to continuing to work with regulators around the world to allow the transaction to proceed, but will not hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if necessary.”
At this point, it remains to be seen what will happen with this deal. Regulators in countries like Brazil have already approved the deal, so it’s dividing opinion on a global level. Either way, it’s likely we’ll hear more in the coming weeks and see if the FTC blocks the lawsuit deal.
What do you think of this acquisition? Let me know in the comments or give me a call Twitter @Cade_Onder.
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