Microsoft's Activision Blizzard merger blocked by the US Government
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Featured Image Credit: Activision, Turag Photography via Unsplash
Just a few months ago, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella opened up about how he was “very confident” that the company’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard would successfully secure approval. Uh, he might want to reassess that. The $69 billion dollar deal has been under scrutiny from regulatory bodies around the world for months on end, which has led to some very public bickering between PlayStation and Xbox over the future of Call of Duty.
PlayStation are concerned that the franchise will be made an Xbox exclusive, but Phil Spencer assured his rivals that PlayStation would retain access to CoD. It’s been reported that PlayStation has been offered a 10-year Call of Duty deal. Seemingly in a bid to push the deal through, Activision have also vowed to bring the franchise to Nintendo Switch. It looks as if their efforts may be in vain though as the US government is moving to block the acquisition.
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The Federal Trade Commission has officially voted in favour of filing a suit to block Microsoft's acquisition of Activision, Bloomberg has reported. The suit was filed on 8 December as the FTC believe that the acquisition would make Microsoft too powerful a competitor, which is what plenty of people have been saying throughout this entire process.
As reported by the BBC, the FTC explained that the deal would give Microsoft “both the means and motive to harm competition” by manipulating pricing, making games worse on competitors’ consoles, or by “withholding content from competitors entirely, resulting in harm to consumers.”
Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick responded to the news via a letter to staff, says the BBC. “This sounds alarming, so I want to reinforce my confidence that this deal will close," he said. "The allegation that this deal is anti-competitive doesn't align with the facts, and we believe we'll win this challenge." The attempted takeover remains ongoing.