Microsoft may face FTC antitrust lawsuit to block bid to acquire Activision Blizzard: Report

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is likely to file an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft’s $69 billion (approximately Rs 5,63,500) acquisition bid for the video game publisher. Activision Blizzard, Politico reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

A lawsuit challenging the agreement is not secured, and FTC’s four commissioners have yet to vote on the complaint or meet with attorneys for the companies, the report saidadded that the FTC staffers reviewing the deal were skeptical of the companies’ arguments.

The FTC did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

“We are committed to continuing to work with regulators globally to enable transactions to proceed, but will not hesitate to fight to protect transactions if required,” a statement said. . Activating blizzard spokesman said. The spokesperson added that any suggestion that the transaction could lead to anticompetitive effects is “absolutely absurd”.

Shares of Activision fell about 2% in extended trading after closing 1% higher.

Microsoftproducer of Xbox game console, announced in January an agreement to buy Activision, the maker of call of duty and crushed candy games, in the biggest game industry deal in history as global tech giants make their claims of a virtual future.

Microsoft is betting on acquisitions to help it better compete with video game leaders Tencent and sony.

The deal is also facing scrutiny outside the United States. The EU opened a full investigation earlier this month. The EU’s competition enforcement agency said it would decide by March 23, 2023 on whether to remove or block the deal.

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

Britain’s antitrust regulator said the acquisition could damage the industry if Microsoft refused to give rivals access to Activision’s best-selling games.

The deal was met with criticism from Sony, the manufacturer game console console, on the grounds that Microsoft controls games like Call of Duty.

“Sony, as the industry leader, says it’s worried about Call of Duty, but we’ve said we’re committed to delivering the same game on the same day on both Xbox and PlayStation,” said owner. President and Vice President of Microsoft. Brad Smith said.

A Microsoft spokesperson said: “We stand ready to address concerns raised by regulators, including the FTC and Sony, to ensure the deal is signed with confidence. We will continue to follow suit. monitoring Sony and Tencent in the market after the deal closes and together with Activision and Xbox will benefit gamers and developers and make the industry more competitive.”

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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