Microsoft bid likely blocked by FTC lawsuit: report


Microsoft’s bid to acquire video game publisher Activision Blizzard could reportedly fall flat as early as next month.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is likely to file an antitrust suit to block the $69 billion acquisition, Politico said, citing people familiar with the matter.

A lawsuit against the deal is not guaranteed, and the four FTC commissioners have yet to dismiss a complaint or meet with the companies’ lawyers.

They said FTC officials reviewing the deal are skeptical of the companies’ arguments.

Microsoft’s Activity Blizzard deal is under scrutiny worldwide

At the heart of the FTC’s concerns is whether the Activision acquisition would give Microsoft an unnecessary boost to the video game market.

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Microsoft’s Xbox ranks third behind leading Sony Interactive Entertainment and its PlayStation console.

Sony worries that Sony will suffer a loss if Microsoft makes hit games like Call of Duty exclusive to its platform.

Activision spokesperson Joe Christinat told POLITICO: “Any suggestion that the transaction could have anti-compromise effects is completely absurd. This merger will benefit gamers and the US gaming industry, especially as we move from overseas into fierce competition.

EU duty: research Microsoft-Activity Blizzard deal

Shares of Activision fell nearly 4% during extended trading.

Microsoft announced the deal in January as the largest games industry deal in history.

Microsoft spokesman David Cuddy told Politico that the company “stands ready to address concerns from regulators, including the FTC, and Sony to ensure the deal is closed with confidence. We look forward to continuing to market after the deal closes.” Leaving Sony and Tencent behind, and together Activision and Xbox will benefit gamers and developers and make the industry more competitive.”

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Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard Inc. and Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft

Activity Blizzard shareholders approve a $68.7 billion sales offer to Microsoft

FOX Business has contacted Microsoft and Activision for additional comment.

The EU launched a large-scale investigation earlier this month. The EU competition enforcer said it would have until March 23, 2023 to decide whether to approve or block the deal.




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