Federal Trade Commission has sued to stop Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal

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The Federal Trade Commission in the US has sued to stop Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, citing the argument that such a move would allow Microsoft to suppress competition in the video games industry. The deal, which was announced earlier this year, would see Microsoft purchase Activision Blizzard for $69 billion.

“Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals,” said Holly Vedova, the FTC’s Bureau of Competition director, said in a news release. “Today we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets.”

In response, Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith said, “We continue to believe that this deal will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers. We have been committed since Day One to addressing competition concerns, including by offering earlier this week proposed concessions to the FTC.”

Back in July, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority also opened an investigation into the merger, again due to the issue that it could stifle competition in the video game market. The European Union has also began an investigation into the deal, citing the argument that Microsoft could stop access of Activision’s games being sold on other platforms.

Yesterday, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer stated it would bring Call of Duty to Nintendo consoles for the next 10 years, as well as keeping the game on Steam.“Microsoft has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King. Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play. I’m also pleased to confirm that Microsoft has committed to continue to offer Call of Duty on Steam simultaneously to Xbox after we have closed the merger with Activision Blizzard King.”
This follows an announcement earlier this year that Call of Duty would stay on PlayStation consoles. This move is something Microsoft would use as evidence to confirm that the buyout of Activision Blizzard would not be anticompetitive.
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From the heady days of the Mega Drive up until the modern day gaming has been my main hobby. I'll give almost any game a go.