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FTC Sues to Block Microsoft from Acquiring Activision Blizzard

The regulator alleges that Microsoft's control of Activision's games might "suppress competition from rival consoles."

The US Federal Trade Commission revealed on Thursday that it has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in an attempt to block it from acquiring Activision Blizzard in a proposed $68.7 billion deal.

The regulator believes that Microsoft's Activision deal would "enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business."

One of the regulators' main concerns about the deal has been the possibility of Microsoft making Activision games Xbox exclusives which, according to them, might hurt the competition in the market.

In its complaint, the FTC also pointed out that Microsoft might use the move when its Activision deal is closed drawing attention to the fact that the tech giant has a record of "acquiring and using valuable gaming content to suppress competition" from other console makers, including its acquisition of Bethesda owner ZeniMax when the company made some of Bethesda's games exclusive to its gaming ecosystem despite the assurances to regulators that it wouldn't withhold games from rival consoles.

"Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals," Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition Holly Vedova said in a statement. "Today we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets."

The FTC noted that Activision Blizzard has been releasing its games for a variety of devices, irrespective of their manufacturers, however, according to the regulator, that might change shall Microsoft's Activision deal go through.

The antitrust lawsuit might be a major blow to Microsoft as it could drag the legal processes beyond the deal's expected closing date of June 2023 and could add more difficulties to the tech giant's fights against concerns raised by European authorities.

You can find the FTC's press release 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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