The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be moving ahead to block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which they say would “enable Microsoft to suppress competitors” and disrupt competition within the games industry.
With the decision finalised, it is reported that the panel voted 3-1 in favour of issuing a complaint while the FTC move forward to challenge the acquisition in court, courtesy of a story from GamesRadar. This comes soon after a report from The New York Post, which highlighted the deal potentially being approved by the FTC after a member of the panel took “a sympathetic view of the merger.”
Holly Vedova, the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said in a statement that Microsoft had “already shown that it can and will withhold content” from the 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 referred to Microsoft’s track history of “acquiring and using valuable gaming content to suppress competition from rival consoles” in their complaint and cited the previous acquisitions of Bethesda and parent company Zenimax to help their argument.
The Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, was quick to respond. He shared his thoughts on Twitter, citing the company’s belief “that our deal to acquire Activision Blizzard will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers.”
Smith added that Microsoft had “been committed since Day One to addressing competition concerns, including by offering earlier this week proposed concessions to the FTC” and said they had “complete confidence in [their] case and welcome the opportunity to present it in court.”
For more updates on this story, stay tuned right here at GameLuster.