Activision Microsoft: the buyout of 69 billion blocked in the US?

Alexander Schmid

November 24, 2022 at 12:22 p.m.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 © Activision

© Activision

Microsoft and Activision would find it difficult to justify to the United States that competition is not threatened by the acquisition of the second by the first.

Already jeopardized by competition authorities in the European Union and the United Kingdom, the acquisition of Activision Blizzard King by Microsoft is now threatened by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States, reports Politico.

Unfavorable trend

The investigation is still in progress, but would be on the point of delivering its conclusions. According to the sources of the publication, the depositions of Microsoft and Activision would not have convinced the FTC, which would be ready to launch legal action as early as this month of December to block the acquisition.

FTC officials are said to be skeptical of the arguments put forward by the two groups, which have failed to address concerns about Microsoft’s potential dominant position in the video game market following the takeover.

If the trend is not optimistic, Politico specifies that the four commissioners of the FTC who will have to render the decision have not yet met with the lawyers of Microsoft and Activision. There is therefore still hope that the latter will succeed in persuading the FTC not to intervene.

Sony wants to block the takeover

Sony is the main opponent of the takeover. The company believes that if Microsoft were to make call of duty exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem, PlayStation would be at a significant disadvantage. The Japanese group explained that its ability to compete with Microsoft would be significantly reduced, that consumers would have fewer choices when it came to games and that developers would have fewer options for publishing their titles.

Microsoft responded by offering to continue to market call of duty on PlayStation for at least 10 years, and argues that in any case, the loss of access to a game could not threaten Sony’s number 1 position, which is too well anchored in the market.

Google would also be against the transaction, arguing that Microsoft has already deliberately downgraded the quality of Game Pass when used on Chrome OS in order to promote the sale of Microsoft hardware over Google, and that owning Activision would only strengthen his tendency to behave that way.

At the beginning of November, the EU announced the opening of an in-depth investigation. The United Kingdom had launched such a procedure in September. And now the United States may soon take legal action to block the takeover. Activision Blizzard King is still a long way from being owned by Microsoft.

Source : Politico

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