politics to be Report that, “according to three people with knowledge of the matter,” the Federal Trade Commission “is likely to file an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of the tech giant.” the Activision Blizzard video game”.
FTC, encouraged by their recent success in preventing the merger of the book publishers Penguin Random House and Simon & Schusterno official announcement has been made, and politics report said that “a lawsuit challenging the agreement is not guaranteed”.
However, steps are being taken to prepare a plan, with “much of the hard work” already done, such as getting a deposit from Microsoft bosses (Satya Nadella) and Activision Blizzard (Bobby Kotick). Because of this, it is said that “if the agency continues to handle a case, it could come as soon as next month.”
Any antitrust case has a pretty clear goal: the FTC would argue that allowing major platform owners to buy Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s largest third-party publishers, would gives Microsoft an unfair advantage in the marketplace.
That argument and process was already underway in Europe. Earlier this month, the European Union “opened a full investigation” into the proposed deal, said in a statement:
The Commission’s preliminary investigation found that the transaction could significantly reduce competition in the console and PC video game distribution markets, including multi-game subscription services and/or game streaming service in the cloud and for PC operating systems.
The preliminary investigation suggests that Microsoft may have the ability as well as a potential economic incentive to engage in foreclosure strategies against rival console video game distributors. by Microsoft.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority is also deal investigation, speak the merger “could be expected to substantially reduce competition in any market or market in the UK for goods or services”.
The interesting thing is politics report also referred to Google as the “lesser” competitor to the merger, saying “The company has argued that Microsoft has intentionally degraded the quality of its Game Pass subscription service when used.” with Google’s Chrome operating system, and owning Activision will further encourage them to do so, ultimately driving hardware sales toward Microsoft and away from Google.”
UPDATE 10:00 p.m. ET: An Activision spokesperson told Kotaku:
Any suggestion that a transaction could lead to anticompetitive effects is completely absurd. This merger will benefit gamers and the US gaming industry, especially as we face increasingly stiff competition from abroad. We are committed to continuing to work with regulators around the globe to allow transactions to proceed, but will not hesitate to fight to protect transactions if required.