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US Federal Trade Commission May Probe Activision Blizzard Deal

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Since the announcement of the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, the deal has been subject to various competition law hurdles. A more in-depth investigation has already been launched in Europe, and now there could also be legal trouble in the USA.

According to a report by Politico, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) plans to launch an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. This step would be the largest and most significant that the FTC has ever taken against an IT company – and thus also a serious setback for Microsoft.

However, the matter has not yet been decided: the four commissioners of the FTC must first vote on it and first meet with lawyers for the companies involved and also with any opponents of the deal in order to hear their arguments.

At this point in time, however, the FTC has doubts that the deal would not be anti-competitive. According to three sources within the Federal Trade Commission, “a lot of the hard work has already been done” and a lawsuit could be filed as early as December.

Call of Duty targeted

Sony’s arguments that it is the driving force behind Microsoft’s difficulties with this deal are well known. The Japanese company fears that Activision Blizzard, led by the Redmond group, could sooner or later make Call of Duty exclusive to Xbox and PC and believes that this would be a serious competitive disadvantage. According to Politico, Google also has (minor) objections to the deal.

The FTC’s objections don’t just revolve around the world’s most famous shooter, the agency also wants to find out how Microsoft could use future, unannounced titles to expand its gaming business.

A lawsuit by the FTC would have serious consequences: The companies have until July 2023 to close the deal without renegotiating the agreement. A lawsuit now being filed in December or January would likely not be resolved until July and could force the companies to call off the deal.

Lucia Coleman

I’m a communication enthusiast and junior editor-reporter at Research Snipers, I have completed a degree in Mass Communication but am very enthusiastic about new technology, games, and mobile devices. I have the main interest in Technology and games.

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