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FTC wants to cancel Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard – SHOCK2

FTC wants to cancel Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard – SHOCK2

Microsoft It completed its acquisition of Activision Blizzard in October 2023. But the North American Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does not want to abandon the deal and now wants to appeal the court’s ruling that the acquisition is permissible under competition law.

The FTC says the judge responsible erred in ruling. The FTC does not have to prove that the acquisition materially violates competition law. Rather, it is enough to prove Microsoft’s ability to pull Activision Blizzard titles from competing platforms.

The FTC cites Microsoft’s acquisition of Zenimax as an example. After this acquisition, titles such as “Redfall” and “Starfield” were released in the console segment exclusively for Xbox Series The FTC argued that this was evidence that Microsoft could pull Activision Blizzard titles from other platforms.

Microsoft’s lawyers called the FTC’s argument “weak.” They argue that Microsoft has no incentive to pull “Call of Duty” or other popular games from other platforms. Microsoft benefits from the wide availability of its games on all platforms.

It is highly unlikely that the FTC will still be able to overturn the Activision Blizzard acquisition. All other antitrust authorities, for example in Great Britain and the European Union, approved the deal after making concessions. For example, Microsoft has transferred the cloud gaming rights to Activision Blizzard games to Ubisoft and has reached agreements with Nintendo and Sony that guarantee them ports of “Call of Duty” games for at least ten years.

Jorn Schmidt/Reuters