Microsoft presses FTC to approve Activision merger

Call of Duty: Vanguard.Screenshot: Activision Blizzard

Microsoft has officially put pressure on the US government to approve its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. It’s Thursday’s biggest move in gaming history.

News promotion: In its Federal Trade Commission filing, Microsoft argued that its $69 billion bid for Activision did not hurt competition.

detail: “One game acquisition by the third-largest console maker cannot overturn a highly competitive industry,” Microsoft said in a response.

  • “This is especially true when manufacturers make it clear they will not put games on hold. The fact that Xbox’s dominant competitors have so far refused to accept Xbox’s offer blocks deals that benefit consumers.” It does not justify doing so.”

What they say: Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement, “There is no sensible or good reason to prevent our deal from closing.

  • The industry has “huge competition and few barriers to entry,” he added, noting the proliferation of gaming platforms, the availability of free game development tools, and expanding distribution channels.

Opposite side: An FTC lawsuit earlier this month warned that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard could withhold or degrade its flagship game, Call of Duty, from competitors.

  • Making the top Activision Blizzard franchises exclusive could harm gaming consumers by giving Microsoft an unfair advantage in the console, game subscription and game streaming markets, FTC says. claims.
  • It called out Microsoft’s post-acquisition handling of ZeniMax Studios’ game portfolio. This led to exclusive games not on the competing PlayStation as a “preview” of potential problems.
  • Holly Vedova, the director of the FTC’s Competition Bureau, said at the time that “Microsoft could take control of major independent game studios and use it to undermine competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets. trying to stop

Line spacing: All parties involved are racing the calendar.

  • The FTC case is scheduled to be heard in the agency’s administrative court on August 2, 2023.
  • Microsoft has committed to acquire Activision by June 30, and that deal expires in July, incurring a split fee.

  • The best option for the FTC to block the merger before trial is to ask a federal court to stay the merger, but that process could also win Microsoft and Activision.
  • UK and EU regulators are also skeptical of the deal and could block it, and will announce a ruling in the first half of 2023, but Microsoft is working hard to offer concessions that would bring them down. I am working hard.

Microsoft is coming That’s the case against the FTC, but settlement options also continue to hang.

  • “We are confident in our case, but we continue to work with regulators on creative solutions that protect competition, consumers and workers in the technology sector,” Brad Smith, president of the company, said in a statement. I’m in.
  • Despite repeatedly promising to continue Call of Duty on PlayStation and agreeing to bring it to the Nintendo platform, these plans have yet to succeed.

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