Well, here’s the pre-Thanksgiving shocker.according to Politico, the Federal Trade Commission is likely to block Microsoft’s attempt to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. If the FTC were to take such action, it would be a major obstacle to trading.
Four FTC commissioners have yet to vote on whether to file a lawsuit, according to the report. The agency has yet to meet with attorneys for Microsoft or Activision Blizzard about the possibility. but, Politico said FTC staff members questioned some of the claims made by Microsoft and Activision.
The FTC is said to be primarily concerned with whether the merger will give Microsoft an unfair advantage in the video game industry. As it stands, Xbox is the third largest player in the gaming market, behind PlayStation and Tencent.
Microsoft and Activision are trying to downplay the significance of this deal (which is also worth $68.7 billion). Sony claims that if Microsoft keeps games like Call of Duty off the PlayStation, it will face a big loss.
Sony would lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year if Microsoft pulled Call of Duty from the PlayStation. However, Microsoft said earlier this month that it had offered Sony a deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for his ten years.
Microsoft also said its deal with Activision is to help them become mobile game players ( candy crush saga) than improve their PC or console offerings. We want to include Activision Blizzard titles in Game Pass.
Microsoft and Sony throw mud at each other Submissions to regulatory authorities in some countries last few months. They both handpicked facts to back up their arguments.For example, Microsoft claims that Call of Duty isn’t a must-have game for Sony and that having it on Game Pass won’t hurt the PlayStation. doing.
Activision disputes claims that the deal will also harm competition. “Any suggestion that this deal could lead to an anti-comp effect is absolutely ridiculous,” said Activision spokesman Joe Christinat. Politico“This merger will benefit gamers and the U.S. gaming industry, especially as we face more and more international competition.”
Last month, one FTC Republican got offSo this agency has three Democrat Commissioners and one Republican Commissioner. Noah Phillips, who left the post of commissioner, said the FTC chairman opposed many of Lina Khan’s attempts to curb the power of the tech industry. For example, she voted against a lawsuit to stop Meta from acquiring her VR startup called Within Unlimited. In other words, if Khan wants to file an antitrust suit against her Microsoft and her Activision Blizzard deal, there’s likely less resistance from other commissioners.
Politico The FTC says it has nearly completed its antitrust investigation. It all started in FebruaryThe agency has reportedly already heard testimony from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Activision counterpart Bobby Kotick.
FTC regulators have concerns about Microsoft’s deal with Activision beyond Call of Duty. “Investigators are trying to determine how Microsoft will leverage future unannounced titles to boost its gaming business.” Politico Say. UK and her EU regulators are also scrutinizing the acquisition. So, if Microsoft and Activision can strike a deal, it will at least be in the spring.
I’ve been saying this ever since it was announced that the planned merger was far from a deal, but the FTC lawsuit could be a fatal blow. Politico If the FTC files an antitrust lawsuit by the end of the year or January, it is unlikely to be resolved by July, which is past the deadline set by Microsoft and Activision to close the deal. If so, the two companies would have to renegotiate the agreement or otherwise withdraw from the merger.
Again, there is no guarantee that the FTC will try to block the merger.However Politico Reports are usually solid, and there’s no smoke without fire. We’ll have to wait and see how things change in the coming weeks and months.
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