The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit to block a deal for Microsoft to buy video game developer and publisher Activision Blizzard. The department believed the software giant was planning a takeover to stifle competition. Relevant message released on the regulator’s official website.
According to the FTC, Activision Blizzard is one of the few video game developers that makes products for multiple types of devices, including computers, gaming consoles, and smartphones. Microsoft’s acquisition of the company could undermine this business strategy, depriving some users of Activision Blizzard games, hurting competition and allowing the software giant to manipulate the price of video games.
“Microsoft has already shown that it can and will block access to content for its competitors. Today, we are committed to preventing Microsoft from gaining control of a leading independent studio and continuing to use it to harm competition in several dynamic and fast-growing markets.”— Holly Vedova, Director of the Bureau of Competition at the FTC, commented on this question.
The FTC lawsuit will reportedly be heard by an administrative judge in August 2023. Microsoft has already indicated its willingness to participate in this experiment. Amid the news, shares of Activision Blizzard fell 1.5% to $74.76 per share.