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FTC Suing Microsoft To Block Activision Blizzard Acquisition

Source: NurPhoto / Getty / Xbox

Microsoft and Xbox are having a hard time closing this Activision/Blizzard acquisition, and this latest news isn’t providing any more hope that it will happen soon.

The FTC announced in a statement it would sue Microsoft to block the $68.7 billion Activision/Blizzard acquisition from happening.

The Federal Trade Commission believes Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision/Blizzard will allow Xbox to “gain control of top video game franchises” and would “harm competition in high-performance gaming consoles and subscriptions services by denying or degrading rivals’ access to its popular content.”

To back its suit, the FTC points to Microsoft’s previous record of acquiring content “to suppress competition from rival consoles, including its acquisition of ZeniMax, parent company of Bethesda Softworks,” using now exclusive Xbox titles like Starfield and Redfall as examples.

The FTC’s decision comes after Microsoft’s commitment to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo consoles for the next ten years. Microsoft made a similar pitch to Sony, the most prominent opponent to the Activision/Blizzard acquisition since it was first announced.

Sony, who is Microsoft’s competitor, has encouraged investigations into the deal, so this is a win in their ongoing battle to either stall it or keep it from happening.

“Sony has emerged as the loudest objector,” said Microsoft president Brad Smith in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. “It’s as excited about this deal as Blockbuster was about the rise of Netflix.” Microsoft also called the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) “concern” about the acquisition “misplaced” while accusing the regulator of adopting “Sony’s complaints without considering the potential harm to consumers.”

Also, Sony isn’t innocent in all this, according to Microsoft. The company has accused Sony of giving bags to developers to keep games off Xbox Games Pass.

Photo: NurPhoto / Getty /