The $69 billion FTC lawsuit could stop Microsoft from acquiring Activision

Something small: Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard has faced challenges from regulators around the world, but the deal has been slowly moving toward completion over the past few months. However, it could be invalidated by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which would likely launch an antitrust lawsuit to block the takeover.

according to Politico, which cites three people familiar with the matter, the FTC lawsuit is not warranted. The publication adds that the FTC’s four commissioners have yet to vote on a complaint or meet with the companies’ attorneys. But with Federal Trade Commission staff reviewing the deal reportedly questioning the tech giants’ arguments, a lawsuit seems the more likely outcome.

Most of the FTC’s investigation is now completed, with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Activision chief Bobby Kotek already impeached, according to people familiar with the matter. If there is a lawsuit, it will probably arrive next month.

The deal has also come under further scrutiny by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. Again, most of the objections come from Sony, who believes Microsoft will make the Call of Duty series exclusive to Xbox/PC. This though Frequent confirmations From the Redmond company that such a move will not happen. Microsoft even offered Sony a 10-year deal to keep the franchise alive on PlayStation.

In arguments Sony made to the UK censor, it indicated that other games could not compete with CoD, citing Battlefield as an example. Despite the similarities between Call of Duty and Battlefield and despite EA’s track record of developing other successful AAA franchises (such as FIFA, Mass Effect, Need for Speed ​​and Star Wars: Battlefront) – the Battlefield series just can’t keep up. As of August 2021, more than 400 million Call of Duty games have been sold, while Battlefield has sold only 88.7 million copies,” Sony’s lawyers said.

Interestingly, Sony’s filing also refers to the PlayStation 6. The company believes the console won’t arrive until at least 2027, which would give the PS5 a seven-year life cycle.

Regulators in Saudi Arabia and Brazil approved the acquisition of Microsoft. It is still awaiting approval in other countries, including the United Kingdom, which has given March 1 as a deadline for its final decision. The European Commission investigation She also continues. With a potential Federal Trade Commission lawsuit on the horizon, could the deal be over? Go the same way As Nvidia’s attempt to take over Arm?

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