Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard suspended by US antitrust authorities

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Microsoft Chairman Brad Smith during a press conference on his company's acquisition of Activision, in Brussels, February 21, 2023.

The American competition authority, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), asked a federal court in San Francisco on Monday June 12 to temporarily suspend the acquisition for 68.7 billion dollars (about 64 billion euros) of ‘Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, according to the referral consulted by Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The FTC had already launched an administrative procedure to determine the risks associated with this takeover, and a hearing is scheduled for early August. But press articles circulated “suggesting that Microsoft and Activision were seriously considering completing the acquisition” despite this procedure and the ban from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the British competition authority, notes Monday’s summary.

“The proposed transaction would allow Microsoft to continue to gain control of high-value video games”argues the FTC. “By controlling Activision’s content, Microsoft could, and would have an incentive to, withhold that content, or lower its quality in a way that weakens competition, including for quality, price, and innovation.”estimates the federal agency.

“More choice and competition”

Microsoft has, for its part, assured “welcome this opportunity positively” to present his arguments before a judge, according to an official reaction from Brad Smith, the president of the group which owns the Xbox console. “We believe that speeding up the legal process in the United States will ultimately bring more choice and competition to the marketplace”he added.

Activision Blizzard has several phenomenal video games in its purse, from call of duty To candy Crush Passing by World of Warcraft, Diablo And Overwatch. “If the transaction takes place, it will be the largest in the history of the video game industry and also in the history of Microsoft”pointed out the FTC.

The World with AFP

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