Microsoft and Activision Face Off in Court: WASHINGTON, Dec 30 (Reuters) – The first hearing in the action the Biden administration is bringing against Microsoft (MSFT.O) about the company’s $69 billion takeover offer for the company that makes “Call of Duty” has been scheduled for January 3 by the court presiding over the case (ATVI.O).
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), responsible for enforcing antitrust law, requested a judge earlier this month to block the transaction.
Yet another country has approved Microsoft’s Activision acquisition for Xbox. uwu https://t.co/t29ZHV8GHm
— Jez (@JezCorden) December 30, 2022
The FTC argued that the merger would allow Microsoft‘s Xbox exclusive access to Activision games, leaving Nintendo consoles and Sony‘s PlayStation in the cold. The judge denied the FTC’s request to block the transaction.
Chile’s competition authority, FNE, has now approved our acquisition by Microsoft, joining regulators elsewhere that have also recognized the deal’s benefits for competition and players.
As other responsible regulators review the facts, we expect more approvals like this one.
— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) December 29, 2022
Microsoft has retorted that the deal would benefit gamers and gaming firms. The company has offered to sign a legally binding consent decree with the FTC to provide “Call of Duty” games to competitors such as Sony (6758.T) for ten years.
Microsoft included the argument in a file with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to persuade a court to approve the transaction so it may move forward.
The regulatory authority of Chile has approved the Xbox x Activision Blizzard acquisition in Phase 1.https://t.co/ihqGU73EtW pic.twitter.com/HdV6xvg3eI
— Klobrille (@klobrille) December 29, 2022
The case indicates that the administration of United States Vice President Joe Biden is taking a robust approach to implementing anti-trust laws.
2022 was a crazy year.
January: Microsoft announced acquisition of Activision Blizzard
June: MWII reveal
September: COD NEXT
October: MWII launch
November: Warzone 2 launch
December: FTC sues to block MSFT acquisition
Wonder what 2023 will bring.
— CharlieIntel (@charlieINTEL) December 30, 2022
However, antitrust specialists believe that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will have difficulty persuading a judge to stop the merger because Microsoft has voluntarily agreed to make concessions to satisfy concerns that it could control the gaming sector.
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