The plaintiffs believe the merger will negatively affect consumers as it can limit product releases, reduce consumer choice, and raise prices.
Microsoft is currently going through a number of legal processes as it attempts to purchase Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard. Apart from European regulators' scrutiny, it also now has to fight in the US courts after the US Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against the tech giant to block the $69 billion takeover.
In addition to this, Microsoft recently faced another hurdle – just less than two weeks after the FTC sued the company, a group of gamers filed a private antitrust lawsuit also trying to block the deal.
The new suit only names Microsoft, but not Activision, as a defendant. The plaintiffs argue that if the company makes a deal with the Call of Duty maker, it will gain too much influence at several levels of the market, foreclose rivals, limit product releases, reduce consumer choice, and raise prices.
Behind the lawsuit is a group of ten gamers from California, New Jersey, and New Mexico. Most of them do not use the Xbox, and several only play on Sony PlayStations.
Speaking to Axios, antitrust expert Daniel Crane was surprised that the players decided to spend money on going to court, given that the FTC has already filed its lawsuit. He noted that this appeal is unlikely to affect the course of the case.