FTC Suing To Stop Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard, CEO Bobby Kotick Responds

Credit: Activision

Microsoft’s plan to acquire Activision Blizzard for $69 billion has been the talk of the town, with Sony objecting to the idea. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is now looking to prevent Microsoft Corp. from buying out the giant video game company by filing a lawsuit since it believes that Microsoft would squash its competitors. Activision Blizzard has triple-A franchises including Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch, and more, and if it joins the Microsoft family, it believes that gamers would flock to the Xbox gaming consoles and its rising Xbox Game Pass subscribers.

The FTC issued the complaint today, and it brought up points of Microsoft’s history of acquiring huge gaming companies including ZeniMax, which is the parent company of video game developer Bethesda Softworks. Its upcoming games, Starfield and Redfall, will be exclusive to Xbox and PC.

“Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals,” said Holly Vedova, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “Today we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets.”

The FTC wants to prevent the acquisition from happening since it’s afraid of Microsoft harming the competition “by manipulating Activision’s pricing, degrading Activision’s game quality or player experience on rival consoles and gaming services, changing the terms and timing of access to Activision’s content, or withholding content from competitors entirely, resulting in harm to consumers.”

The voting from the Commission to issue the complaint was 3-1, which included Commissioner Christine S. Wilson voting no. It believes that the proceeding is in the public interest and the allegations will be tried in a formal hearing before an administrative law judge.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick issued a statement in response to the FTC’s complaint.


I wanted to provide a brief update on our pending merger with Microsoft. This week the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its decision to challenge the deal. This means they will file a lawsuit to block the merger, and arguments will be heard by a judge.

This sounds alarming, so I want to reinforce my confidence that this deal will close. The allegation that this deal is anti-competitive doesn’t align with the facts, and we believe we’ll win this challenge.

Thanks to the hard work by all of you every day, we’re on a strong path, bringing epic joy to players around the world with what I believe are the greatest games in the industry. At the same time, the competitive landscape is shifting, and, simply put, a combined Microsoft-ABK will be good for players, good for employees, good for competition and good for the industry. Our players want choice, and this gives them exactly that. You can read more about the specifics on those points in this update we recently shared with you.

We believe these arguments will win despite a regulatory environment focused on ideology and misconceptions about the tech industry.

Thank you for your dedication and creativity.


Source: FTC, Activision

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