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Xbox Activision merger facing trouble following mass layoffs

Richard Lee Breslin

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Xbox Activision merger facing trouble following mass layoffs

Featured Image Credit: Microsoft/Activision Blizzard

Microsoft has provided the following statement to GAMINGbible:

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"In continuing its opposition to the deal, the FTC ignores the reality that the deal itself has substantially changed. Since the FTC lost in court last July, Microsoft was required by the UK competition authority to restructure the acquisition globally and therefore did not acquire the cloud streaming rights to Activision Blizzard games in the United States," reads a statement provided by Microsoft to GAMINGbible. "Additionally, Sony and Microsoft signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation on even better terms than Sony had before."

the original article remains below.

If you thought the battle royale between Xbox and Activision with the FTC was over, think again because it seems like the US market regulator has hit the respawn button.

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In January 2022, Microsoft approached to acquire Activision Blizzard in an eye-watering deal worth $68.7 billion which would essentially make the likes of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo and more first-party Xbox properties. Several market regulators had concerns with the takeover such as the CMA representing the UK and the FTC for the US. Eventually, Microsoft had won of both battles and it now owns Activision Blizzard.

Check out our interview with the Modern Warfare III developers below!

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Now the FTC has crawled from beneath the woodwork once more and to be fair, it’s for a very good reason. Despite being a trillion-dollar company and making all the money in the world, in January 2024 Microsoft brutally laid off a reported 1,900 employees from Activision Blizzard. As reported by Gamedeveloper.com, this according to the FTC goes against a promise made by Microsoft when acquiring Activision Blizzard to “maintain a pre-merger status quo.”

Microsoft had promised to keep Activision Blizzard an independent regulator, but the mass redundancies in January 2024 are said to go back on its word which the FTC believes that the Call of Duty and Diablo publisher isn't operating independently. What this all means for the future of the acquisition, we can only speculate at this time. It's a very safe assumption to make that the FTC won't prevent the acquisition at this stage nor will it likely get the 1,900 ex-employees their jobs back. We’ll just have to wait to see how this developing story unfolds.

The most recent game in the Call of Duty series is the reimagined Modern Warfare III and it’s out now on PC, PlayStation and Xbox.

Richard Lee Breslin
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