Microsoft’s pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard may face a major hurdle from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
PoliticoThe report cited “three people with knowledge of the matter” that the FTC is likely to file an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in an attempt to block the tech giant’s takeover. Call of Duty Although the publication notes that the FTC has yet to make a formal decision, the agency is still skeptical of Microsoft’s case for buying Activision Blizzard.
As the deal faces regulatory approval around the world, there has been a key point of contention Call of Duty. Rival Sony has argued that Microsoft owning the massively popular first-person shooter franchise would give it an unfair advantage.
“Call of Duty Not replicable. Call of Duty Too entrenched for any rival, no matter how well equipped, to catch. It has been the best-selling game almost every year for the past decade and, in the first-person shooter (‘FPS’) genre, is by far the best-selling game,” Sony wrote in a filing with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). As an example, Sony noted That’s EA’s battlefieldwhich is a direct Call of Duty Competitors, with Activision’s “Can’t Keep Up” series.
Microsoft, instead, said it intends to keep it Call of Duty PlayStation argued for years that it would still be third in the gaming market after Sony and Tencent even after Activision acquired Blizzard.
“The suggestion that the current market leader, Sony, with clear and enduring market power, is the smallest of the three console competitors, Xbox, as a result of losing access to one title, is not credible. Sony’s PlayStation is the largest console platform for more than 20 years, with an installed base of consoles and a market share more than twice the size of Xbox,” Microsoft said in a statement at CMA on Nov. 23.
however, Politico reports that FTC investigators are also concerned about Microsoft’s outside plans Call of Duty. The outlet notes that there is uncertainty about how Microsoft could use future unannounced Activision Blizzard titles to boost its business. So far, Microsoft has only said that it intends to make these titles available on its Xbox Game Pass service. Microsoft has outlined plans to leverage Activision Blizzard to create an app marketplace independent of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, which it claims will offer consumers more choice. Naturally, such a move would face significant regulatory scrutiny.
Interestingly, Politico Adding that Google is also opposing Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard bid. While the search engine giant’s gaming efforts will be limited to Android games after it shuts down its Stadia streaming service in January 2023, Google’s issues with Microsoft raise other concerns. in particular, Politico The report states that Google is alleging that Microsoft has purposely degraded the quality of its Game Pass service in Google Chrome in an attempt to drive consumers to Microsoft products and services. Google claims that Microsoft’s ownership of Activision Blizzard will only strengthen Microsoft’s efforts in this regard.
Ultimately, it remains to be seen what action the FTC will take. Politico Reports suggest that investigators may proceed with an antitrust case as early as December, although it may choose to do so later, given that Microsoft is currently under intense scrutiny in both Europe and the UK, with Microsoft and Activision Blizzard closing the deal by June 2023. aims to close.