May 30, 2024

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Activision Blizzard: US seeks to block Microsoft’s $69bn acquisition

The US has filed a lawsuit against Xbox maker Microsoft to stop it from buying the company that makes popular video game franchises like Call of Duty.

Regulators expressed competition concerns, claiming that they were worried that if the acquisition went through, Activision Blizzard’s games would no longer be available on gaming consoles made by companies other than Microsoft.

The Activision acquisition was anticipated to be Microsoft’s largest ever.

The business vowed to battle to get the $69 billion (£56 billion) merger through.

The corporation has “full confidence in our argument” and welcomed the chance to argue its position in court, according to Microsoft President Brad Smith.

One of the most well-known courts battles to result from US President Joe Biden’s promise to take a tougher stance against monopolies is the complaint against Microsoft.

Other nations, notably the UK, had already expressed alarm over the proposed treaty.

Some of the most well-known video games in the world are owned by Activision Blizzard, including the Call of Duty franchise, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Candy Crush.

Activision is one of a select group of renowned video game publishers that creates high-caliber games for a variety of platforms, according to the Federal Trade Commission, the US consumer protection agency that brought the complaint.

It was said in a press release.

The FTC cited Microsoft’s purchase of ZeniMax, which is the owner of the video game developer Bethesda Softworks. Numerous upcoming titles from the studio will only be available on Microsoft consoles, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft announced earlier this week that, should the deal go through, it would make Call of Duty available on Nintendo for 10 years.

Microsoft stated when it made the announcement that it wanted to increase the number of games available on Gamepass, its Netflix-style subscription gaming service, as well as cater to the growing number of people who play games on their phones.

In terms of income, the acquisition was expected to place the company behind China’s Tencent and Japan’s Sony, which controls Playstation and has criticised the acquisition.