The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revived its attempt to block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard in an adjudicative process. The FTC had previously sought to block the deal in federal court, but a judge ruled in Microsoft’s favor in July.
The FTC’s new challenge is based on similar concerns as its previous one: that the deal would give Microsoft too much control over the video game market and stifle competition. The FTC is particularly concerned about Microsoft’s ownership of popular franchises such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.
Microsoft has said that it is confident that the FTC’s new challenge will also fail. The company has already received approval from EU regulators and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. Microsoft has also said that it has committed to keeping Activision Blizzard’s games available on all platforms, including PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.
Experts believe that it is unlikely that the FTC’s new challenge will derail the deal. However, the challenge could delay the closing of the deal by several months or even years.
In the meantime, Microsoft is expected to continue to operate Activision Blizzard as an independent company. If the FTC is ultimately successful in blocking the deal, Microsoft would be required to divest some of Activision Blizzard’s assets. This would not be ideal for Microsoft, but it would still allow the company to gain access to Activision Blizzard’s valuable intellectual property.
Potential impact on gamers
The potential impact of the FTC’s challenge on gamers is uncertain. Microsoft has said that it will continue to make Activision Blizzard’s games available on all platforms, even if the acquisition is blocked. However, some gamers have expressed concerns that the deal could lead to higher prices and less choice for consumers.
It is also possible that Microsoft could use its ownership of Activision Blizzard to gain an advantage over its competitors. For example, Microsoft could make Activision Blizzard’s games exclusive to its own platforms or give them preferential treatment in its online stores.
Overall, the FTC’s challenge to Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition is a complex issue with far-reaching implications for the video game industry. It remains to be seen how the challenge will be resolved and what impact it will have on gamers.
In response to questions about this: we’re focused on working with Microsoft toward closing.
How the FTC uses limited taxpayer resources is their decision. https://t.co/4NTulgQeBA
— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) September 27, 2023