FTC likely to challenge Microsoft/Activision Blizzard deal in antitrust lawsuit
With the UK heavily scrutinizing the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal, the FTC will now reportedly join in with an antitrust lawsuit.
Ever since the beginning of 2022 when Microsoft announced a $68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard, the microscope has been focused on said deal in terms of whether it would give Microsoft too much control over the gaming industry. Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, of course, insist otherwise. However, after UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has deeply scrutinized the deal, it appears that USA’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will also file a lawsuit against the deal’s closure under antitrust laws.
Word of the FTC’s intention to file said lawsuit against Microsoft over the Activision Blizzard came via reports from Politico. According to several anonymous sources familiar with the FTC’s plans, it will vote to file a lawsuit against Microsoft which would make the biggest move against the deal on the part of the FTC since Microsoft announced the $68.7 billion USD acquisition at the beginning of 2022. That said, the lawsuit has not been filed yet and is not guaranteed as the FTC’s commissioners have not yet voted on a formal complaint or met with lawyers for the companies. However, sources also shared that the FTC remains skeptical of Microsoft’s arguments in the matter against antitrust regulation.
The possible move by the FTC to attempt to block the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal would follow hot on the trails of similar investigations and scrutiny in the UK and European Union. The UK’s CMA shared concerns of market power should the deal go through, and despite Microsoft calling said concerns misplaced, the EU went on to open up its own investigation into the deal which has put further pressure on its closure.
Microsoft was still hoping to close the Activision Blizzard deal by Spring 2023 at the end of its fiscal year. With investigations and possible lawsuits continuing, it remains to be seen if it can stick to this deadline. Stay tuned as we continue to follow for further updates and details.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, FTC likely to challenge Microsoft/Activision Blizzard deal in antitrust lawsuit