FTC Is Suing Microsoft Over Its Acquisition Of Activision Blizzard

Since Microsoft announced its intended acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the company has faced a number of investigations into the deal by various governing bodies. The CMA, EU, and FTC have all put the deal under intense scrutiny, but the latter has now taken things a step further and is suing Microsoft to block the acquisition. This comes shortly after reports suggested the FTC was "skeptical of the companies’ arguments" regarding why the deal should be allowed to go through.

In a press release from the FTC, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition Holly Vedova has claimed that the lawsuit has been filed as it "seek[s] to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition." Microsoft has reportedly offered consessions, and recently announced a 10-year agreement with Nintendo and Steam to keep Call of Duty on their platforms, but it seems like these actions haven't convinced regulators.

Microsoft will now have to fight for the acquisition in American courts, something that Activision Blizzard CCO Lulu Cheng Meservey recently said the studio "won't hesitate" to do. It's fairly unlikely that this lawsuit will actually prevent the deal from eventually going through, although it could significantly push it back, even beyond June, 2023 according to recent reports. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has also reportedly assured staff that the deal will close despite the lawsuit.

This will likely just be another hurdle for Microsoft to clear to get the deal over the line, albeit a fairly large one. The company has been doing its best to convince the FTC that the Activision Blizzard acquisition isn't a bad thing, going so far as to claim its exclusives aren't as good as Sony's and that The Elder Scrolls VI is just a mid-sized game. Despite it's best efforts, it looks like the deal will be going to court after all.

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