In the latest development surrounding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reportedly planning to file an injunction to block the deal before the merger’s July 18th deadline. According to a source from CNBC, the FTC aims to prevent the merger from closing as scheduled.
When approached for comment, both the FTC and Microsoft were asked to provide their statements on the matter. Microsoft informed CNBC that the injunction would expedite the case by bringing it before a federal judge sooner. In previous remarks, Microsoft downplayed the significance of the deal, arguing that Activision Blizzard lacks “must-have” games and even suggesting that Sony offers higher-quality exclusives. The FTC, however, emphasizes that Activision is one of the few major game publishers with titles available across multiple platforms.
The lawsuit is expected to be presented to the FTC’s administrative law judge in August, who will then make a decision subject to appeal by the Commission. If the agency votes against the merger, Microsoft can challenge the outcome in a federal court.
This reported injunction follows the recent announcement from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which stated its intention to block the $68.7 billion purchase. The regulatory body expressed concerns about Microsoft potentially obtaining a monopoly in the emerging cloud gaming space, capturing up to 70 percent of the market share. In response, Microsoft has tried to address these fears by striking deals with game streaming providers to make titles available on their platforms. The tech giant has also attempted to allay concerns about exclusive Xbox rights for the popular game franchise Call of Duty, promising multi-platform releases for the next decade.
While Microsoft has obtained approval for the merger from the European Union, securing support from the US and UK remains crucial for moving forward. However, there are no guarantees that the company can make concessions that satisfy the regulators in these countries.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard
What is the latest update on Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard?
The latest update is that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is planning to file an injunction to block the acquisition before the merger deadline. This move is due to concerns about potential monopolization of the gaming industry and market share.