The US regulator, the FTC, wants to prevent Microsoft from acquiring Activision. The nearly $69 billion acquisition of the video game maker is at stake.
The US Trade and Consumer Protection Agency (FTC) has filed an antitrust lawsuit against software giant Microsoft’s acquisition of video game provider Activision Blizzard.
The FTC said Thursday in Washington that the expensive acquisition of nearly $69 billion (65.4 billion euros) would give Microsoft too much market power and hurt competition in its game console business like Xbox.
Microsoft has ‘full confidence’ in purchasing
The companies stand behind the billion-dollar deal. “We welcome the opportunity to present our case in court,” Microsoft executive Brad Smith told US media.
The group continues to have “full confidence” in the takeover. Microsoft addressed competition concerns from day one and offered concessions to the FTC.
The mega deal was already announced in January
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard announced the mega deal in January. Microsoft wanted to secure popular video games like “Call of Duty”, “Overwatch” and “Candy Crush” from Activision Blizzard.
The software group that operates the Xbox gaming platform already includes other game studios with well-known titles such as “Doom” and “Minecraft” and will significantly strengthen its market position with its largest acquisition to date.
Activision Blizzard comes under heavy criticism
The deal was made at a time when Activision Blizzard was under intense public pressure, including allegations of discrimination and harassment.
CEO Bobby Kotick was also heavily criticized, but initially remained at the head of the game company. Regarding the FTC case, Kotick said in a note to employees quoted by Bloomberg, “I believe we will win this fight.”
The deal is also being investigated by the EU.
Experts had already expected the FTC to resist the takeover. The multibillion-dollar deal is also being investigated by competition watchdogs in the UK and the European Union.
As early as November, the EU Commission expressed fears that the takeover could limit Microsoft’s access to games for its competitors and consoles. As a result, users’ conditions may also worsen.
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