US sues Microsoft to block purchase of Activision Blizzard

The Federal Trade Commission of the United States (FTC, for its acronym in English) presented this Thursday, December 8, a request versus Microsoft aimed at blocking the purchase of the development company activision, for which it has agreed to pay, at the beginning of 2022, 69,000 million dollars. Record figure in the video game industry.

“We seek to prevent Microsoft from gaining control of a major independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple fast-growing and dynamic gaming markets,” it said in a statement. Holly WidowDirector of the Competition Office ftc extension.

If the deal were to materialize, Microsoft would go on to take control of some of the most important video game franchises in history. Between them, World of Warcraftt, Devil, Overwatch yes call of Duty. Furthermore, the latter is one of the most played by users of Play stationa console that directly competes in the video game hardware sector with the Xboxes from Microsoft. Specifically, the Japanese company, owned by Sony, has made several movements and statements aimed at blocking the agreement.

In the event that the purchase closed, when the time came, Microsoft could, perfectly, block access to Activision games on competing consoles and streaming platforms. It could also offer advantages to users who decide to play it on their Xbox Game Pass, a site that makes more than one hundred top titles available to gamers in exchange for paying a fixed fee. Something like Netflix.

judicial battle

Microsoft won’t sit idly by and has already announced it intends to fight the FTC in court to complete the Activision purchase. “Since day one we have been committed to addressing antitrust concerns, including offering proposed concessions to the FTC earlier this week,” said Brad Smith, vice president and president of Microsoft.

“Even though we believed in giving peace a chance, we have full confidence in our case and appreciate the opportunity to present it to the courts,” concluded the executive.

In recent years, both Microsoft and Sony have bought studios to increase their offering within their streaming platforms, considered a key part of the future of the video game industry, and to get open a gap in the business of video games as a service and in “smartphones”. The American company was the one that scratched its pockets the most in this period. In 2020, it acquired ZeniMax Media, the company behind Doom or “The Elder Scrolls”, in exchange for $7.5 billion.

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