FTC Reportedly Considering Lawsuit to Block Microsoft’s Activision Deal

The US antitrust regulator might start the case as soon as next month, a report claims.

Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is currently being investigated by a number of regulators around the world, with only two of them, Saudi Arabia and Brazil, approving it so far.

Among the major market authorities that have to approve the deal are the UK's CMA which is set to make the final decision by November 8, the European Commission which set a provisional deadline of November 8, and the US Federal Trade Commission which is expected to announce its decision by later November.

While there's been news from the US's regulator itself, the latest reports suggest that the FTC is now considering filing an antitrust lawsuit to block the $69 billion takeover.

As reported by Politico, a potential suit could be underway as soon as next month. The outlet noted that FTC Chair Lina Khan is seeking to "reign in the power of the world’s largest technology companies." It also cited three sources who stated that several within the FTC staff are "skeptical" of Microsoft’s argument.

"Central to the FTC’s concerns is whether acquiring Activision would give Microsoft an unfair boost in the video game market," Politico said.

However, the outlet also pointed out that the lawsuit is not guaranteed at this point as, according to its sources, the FTC’s four commissioners have yet to vote out a complaint or meet with lawyers for the companies.

Microsoft repeatedly stated that it is confident its purchase of Activision Blizzard will go through. For instance, in August, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer shared that he "feels good" about how Microsoft's deal with Activision is progressing. Earlier in November, he also noted that he was sure that the deal would be approved in different markets.

In addition, in September Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company was "very, very confident" that its merger with Activision Blizzard will go ahead. 

However, the potential antitrust lawsuit might be a major blow to Microsoft as it would mean that, in addition to the tech giant's fights against concerns raised by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, the company will also have to fight to push through its acquisition of Activision Blizzard in US courts too. 

You can find Politico's report here. Also, don't forget to join our Reddit page and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more. 

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