The file on Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard seems to be taking a new turn.
As the Redmond giant continues to plead its case, FTC (Federal Trade Commission) “could” file an antitrust complaint and thus block the transaction.
The FTC will file an antitrust complaint in the case
Microsoft’s acquisition of the Activision Blizzard studio is currently one of the hottest issues in the video game world. About 100 countries and institutions are currently reviewing the application, including the FTC. The American media Political mentioned a probability of issuance of a cartel complaint by the commission. However, with “three sources” close to the subject, the site states that this legal action is not “certain”.
At the same time, the four commissioners of the FTC have not yet taken concrete steps on the matter. However, we do know that the majority of the investigation has been completed. Among other things, it concerns testimony from the two main parties, namely Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, and Bobby Koticks (Activision Blizzard).
The FTC investigators apparently studied the file. They will continue to be skeptical of the arguments from the two companies (Activision and Microsoft) in connection with this takeover. Taking into account the progress of the case, we could see a likely antitrust complaint before December 2022.
The takeover of Activision Blizzard: an “unfair” boost?
Sony remains the main company against the takeover. This seems logical due to the existing competition between the two giants with PlayStation (Sony) and Xbox (Microsoft). The most sensitive topic, of course, concerns call of duty gameActivision’s flagship title Blizzard. The Japanese company fears that its rival will turn this license exclusively to its console.
Boards of Inquiry, on the other hand, look beyond a single franchise. Activision Blizzard has many licenses to mine, including Overwatch, Starcraft, Crash Bandicootor Diablo and World of Warcraft. This would definitely rebalance Sony (currently #1) and its rival. However, Microsoft assured that as long as there is a PlayStation, it will continue to offer the title on the platform. The Redmond company also indicates that it would be difficult for it to overtake Sony and Tencent (number 2) on the market.
For Sony, Microsoft is already a giant. Its financial strength ($68.7 billion for the takeover) remains unmatched. This acquisition would give an unfair boost to a company that already benefits from other platforms, such as the PC. Meanwhile, the FTC and CMA continue to deepen their investigations, which will push the completion of the transaction until the spring of 2023.
The article was published at 7:00 on 04/12/2022