The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is expected to initiate antitrust proceedings against Microsoft in connection with the purchase of publisher Activision Blizzard.
Could the biggest takeover in video game history be falling apart? According to information from Politico, Microsoft’s acquisition of publisher Activision Blizzard is in the crosshairs of the Federal Trade Commission in the United States (FTC). Three people familiar with the matter say the U.S. Competition Authority wants to initiate antitrust proceedings.
An operation attacked for several months
This action should aim to verify in detail that the new entity formed after the marriage of the two groups does not occupy too important a place in the video game sector. On the one hand, Microsoft appears as a computer giant and a heavyweight in video games as it manufactures Xbox consoles. On the other hand, the Activision Blizzard group is one of the biggest publishers in the field, especially thanks to the franchise call of duty or mobile games candy destruction.
Microsoft has been under attack for months by its main competitor Sony, which markets the PlayStation, and has never stopped showing its credentials. The two rivals mainly revolve around the famous shooter series call of duty.
By getting their hands on the famous license, Microsoft has the opportunity to deprive the PlayStation ecosystem of these games by making them exclusive to its Xbox models. However, this strategy is not on the agenda. The American group has on several occasions since the announcement of the takeover in January assured that the securities call of duty would remain available on its Japanese competitor’s consoles “for at least a few years,” in the words of Phil Spencer, the Xbox boss.
“Skeptics” about the arguments
Around the world, the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard is being investigated on a case-by-case basis. Thus, each country or set of countries may decide to ask Microsoft for details or investigate the competition. Brazil validated the takeover in early October, while in Europe an investigation was launched to scrutinize the operation.
As far as the FTC is concerned, the lawsuit has not yet been filed. The filing of the lawsuit has not yet been voted on internally, two of the four commissioners from the U.S. Competition Authority told Politico.
The regulator’s classic investigation is still ongoing, although much of it has already been done. Depositions from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick have already been reviewed. Politico’s sources told the outlet “to be skeptical” of the arguments. But if legal proceedings are initiated, it could happen as early as next month.