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FTC Sues Microsoft Over Activision Acquisition

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has voted to sue Microsoft over its acquisition of video game publisher, Activision Blizzard. The commission is bringing antitrust charges against the American corporation.

According to reports, regulators in the UK are also looking at how the deal could affect competition. The deal was announced in January 2022 and included a payment of $68.7 billion. However, it was not meant to go through until June 2023.

Likely, Microsoft anticipated challenges in completing this deal because Activision used to be an independent publisher, in charge of publishing one of the most played video games of all time, Call of Duty. Bringing the game under its control could give Microsoft’s Xbox console an edge over rivals.

Although, the company has claimed not to have any plan of taking the shooting game exclusive, its 10-year deal, which it has offered to Sony and Nintendo, makes the PlayStation maker wary.

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It is not yet clear why Activision Blizzard is selling to Microsoft but many gaming commenters believe that it has to do with the 2021 scandal that rocked the company. The game maker was accused of allowing free rein to constant s****l harassment, unequal pay, discriminations, and retaliation.

“We continue to believe that this deal will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice chair and president, said in a statement, contradicting Sony’s fears.

“We have been committed since Day One to addressing competitive concerns, including by offering earlier this week proposed concessions to the FTC. While we believed in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present our case in court,” he added, regarding the lawsuit.

The FTC claimed that if the deal went through, Microsoft would be able to use Activision’s content to lessen competition and eventually, it would harm customers. Also, even if it does not take these games private, it could worsen their experience on other consoles and increase their price to further discourage gamers who use their rival’s products.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.