To see more clearly in all this fallout surrounding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, we have just published an article summarizing the main stages of the proceedings as well as a calendar of dates to remember. As Christmas approaches, new information pours in, and after discovering the opinion of two economists on the takeover of ABK, today a former cartel expert gives his clear opinion on the dispute between Microsoft, ABK and the FTC.
A lost legal attack for the FTC?
As a reminder, it will be two weeks since the Federal Trade Commission announced its opposition to Microsoft’s takeover of ABK by directly attacking the Redmond company in court. FTC Director Lina Khan has announced that she will go through with these cases, even though their evidence is not solid.
According to former antitrust expert Douglas Melamed, this lack of evidence is glaring and makes the FTC’s approach “sensible.” In the 1990s, Melamed was involved in initiating a major lawsuit against Microsoft as the lead deputy attorney in the case. At the time, the FTC had managed to temporarily block the deal from play, but Microsoft had managed to go through with it. It was to Straight Arrow News that Douglas Melamed expressed his skepticism about the FTC’s new attack on Microsoft.
“I think it’s a bit crazy. I think if you lose cases, the most likely conclusion Congress will draw is that you either brought bad cases or you don’t know how to argue them. »
The former expert therefore speaks about this situation with his experience, and he believes that the FTC’s efforts will not be enough with so little arguments and evidence. Currently, the FTC is confronting the Meta group, which wants to buy the VR Fitness Within application, and the rest of the hearing between the FTC and Microsoft will be held in August 2023.
Until then, Microsoft can try to reach an agreement and turn its back on the FTC, which ultimately does not appear to be in a good position to effectively oppose the takeover. The Redmond company has already offered various agreements to Sony, Nintendo and even Steam to guarantee the release of Call of Duty on these platforms.
In addition, the group has signed an agreement with the Communication Workers of America (CWA), pledging to remain neutral if Activision Blizzard employees decide to organize within 60 days of the completion of the merger. The CWA and AFL-CIO unions also want the deal to go through, and the latter is putting new pressure on the FTC. Case to follow.