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FTC likely to file lawsuit to block Microsoft bid for Activision -Politico

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Nov 23 (Reuters) – US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) likely to file antitrust lawsuit for blocking Microsoft services (MSFT.O) $69 billion takeover bid for video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI.O)Politico reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

A lawsuit challenging the deal is not guaranteed, and the FTC’s four commissioners have not yet voted on a complaint or met with the company’s attorneys, the report said, adding that the deal is being considered. Some FTC staff members are skeptical of the company’s claims, he added.

The FTC did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

An Activision Blizzard spokesperson said, “While we are committed to continuing to work with regulators around the world to advance the deal, we will not hesitate to fight to defend the deal if necessary.” . The spokesperson added that any suggestion that the deal could lead to anti-competitive effects was “completely ridiculous.”

Activision’s share price fell about 2% in long-term trading after closing 1% higher.

Xbox game console maker Microsoft announced a deal in January to acquire Activision, makers of the “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush” games. virtual future.

Microsoft bets on acquisition to better compete with video game leader Tencent (0700.HK) and Sony (6758.T).

The deal is also facing scrutiny outside the US The EU launched a full-scale investigation earlier this month. The EU’s competition enforcement agency said it would have until March 23, 2023 to decide whether to clear or block the deal.

Britain’s antitrust watchdog said in September it would launch a full-scale investigation.

The deal could hurt the industry if Microsoft refuses to give rivals access to Activision’s best-selling games, the UK antitrust regulator said.

The deal has drawn criticism from PlayStation console maker Sony, citing Microsoft’s control over games like Call of Duty.

“Industry leader Sony says it has concerns about Call of Duty, but is committed to making the same game available on both Xbox and PlayStation on the same day. said,’ said Smith.

A Microsoft spokesperson said: Xbox benefits gamers and developers and makes the industry more competitive. ”

Reported by Tiyashi Dattaa and Mrinmay Dey of Bengaluru. Edited by Sriraj Kalluvila and Leslie Adler

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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