Microsoft’s purchase agreement to take over the video game developer Activision Blizzard for 68,700 million dollars – about 60,300 million euros – is threatened. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is preparing measures to block the transaction and prevent the company founded by Bill Gates from forming a monopoly.
The FTC, the national consumer protection agency, will ask the country’s courts to place a temporary restraining order on the purchase, as evidenced by a document that the specialized website has had access to The Verge.
The acquisition of the developer of titles such as call of duty, world of warcraft either Candy Crush Saga it was made public in January 2022, with an immediate reaction from its rival Sony, which said that if it were carried out, Microsoft would take a monopoly on the video game industry.
Last December the FTC filed a lawsuit to block the purchase, arguing that its completion “would allow Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox game consoles and its cloud gaming and subscription content business.”
According to Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Office of Competition, Microsoft had already demonstrated “that it can withhold content from its rivals” by setting exclusivity on their consoles. “We seek to prevent Microsoft from gaining control of a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple markets,” she stated on her day.
Microsoft is confident that the operation will go ahead
The president of Microsoft, Brad Smith, has assured that the decision of the FTC does not harm them. “We always prefer constructive and government-friendly paths, we are confident in our case and looking forward to presenting it,” he clarified on Twitter.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has sent company employees a statement saying he believes the FTC’s intention to move the case to federal court speeds up the legal process.
The United Kingdom has also positioned itself against the purchase through the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). For this reason Microsoft would plan to withdraw Activision Blizzard from the country, according to Bloomberg.
However, the European Commission has approved the acquisition, ensuring that Microsoft “would have no incentive to refuse to distribute Activision’s games to Sony.” As did Japan too.