Microsoft Pledges to Fight in Court for the Activision Deal Following FTC’s Decision

Following the filing of a lawsuit by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prevent Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard, Microsoft has said that it is prepared to debate its position in a court of law. The US regulator said on Thursday that it was trying to halt the $68.7 billion transaction because it thought Microsoft would be able to “suppress competitors” to its Xbox consoles, subscription content, and cloud gaming businesses.

Microsoft President Brad Smith said that the business was confident in its position and will make an effort to show that the agreement was not anti-competitive in a formal reaction to the news:

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.

While we believed in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present our case in court.”

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, who acknowledged the FTC’s decision to bring a case in a letter issued to staff members on Thursday, mirrored Smith’s remarks:

This sounds alarming, so I want to reinforce my confidence that this deal will close. The allegation that this deal is anti-competitive doesn’t align with the facts, and we believe we’ll win this challenge.

Thanks to the hard work by all of you every day, we’re on a strong path, bringing epic joy to players around the world with what I believe are the greatest games in the industry.”

Microsoft claimed earlier this week that it had given Sony a 10-year, legally binding agreement to make each new Call of Duty game accessible on PlayStation the same day it is released for Xbox to assist in winning clearance for its planned purchase of Activision Blizzard. It also struck a similar agreement with Nintendo and extended one to Valve, the owner of Steam.

This did not, however, allay the FTC’s worries, according to which Microsoft has a history of acquiring high-quality video games and making them Xbox exclusives, such as the upcoming Bethesda games Starfield and Redfield, “despite assurances it had given to European antitrust authorities that it had no incentive to withhold games from rival consoles.” 

Recent investigations into Microsoft’s planned purchase of Activision Blizzard by the European Commission and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority have been opened on worries that the merger may significantly restrict competition. Microsoft will need to do a lot more to assure authorities that the balance of the gaming business isn’t pushed toward their side.


Muhammad Zuhair

Passionate about technology and gaming content, Zuhair focuses on analysing information and then presenting it to the audience.
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