Microsoft wins FTC case, removing Xbox’s biggest Activision Blizzard acquisition hurdle

After an extended court case spanning multiple weeks, Microsoft has emerged victorious in its legal battle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. This ruling represents a significant triumph for Microsoft, as it clears the most substantial obstacle the company had encountered in the troubled deal.

Back in January, Microsoft made public its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard for a staggering $69 billion. The announcement of this blockbuster deal immediately raised concerns about potential antitrust issues, prompting the FTC to file a legal challenge in December 2022. Consequently, Microsoft has been unable to proceed with the acquisition as it faced similar regulatory scrutiny in the U.K.

Microsoft

Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley agreed with Microsoft after an eye-opening legal dispute that revealed the inner workings of the gaming industry, giving the firm the go-ahead to continue its purchase process. With this decision, Microsoft may finally consummate the acquisition of famed Call of Duty publisher.

The FTC’s case against Microsoft centered on the concern that the deal would adversely affect consumers. A significant portion of the case focused on whether Microsoft would make franchises like Call of Duty exclusive to its Xbox platforms, despite the company’s repeated assurances to the contrary. Successfully addressing these concerns, Microsoft managed to persuade the court of its commitment. Judge Corley cited the company’s pledge to maintain Call of Duty on PlayStation for a decade and extend the series to Nintendo platforms, reinforcing Microsoft’s dedication to keeping the game accessible to a wide range of players.

In a statement shared on Twitter after the verdict, Microsoft President Brad Smith thanked the court in San Francisco for its judgment. He highlighted the firm’s ongoing dedication to using innovation and teamwork to solve regulatory issues, a posture that has been clear throughout the whole process.

Despite this successful ending, Microsoft’s path has not been without its share of difficulties. The corporation is currently embroiled in legal proceedings in the UK, where the nation’s Competition and Markets Authority has voiced concerns pertaining especially to cloud gaming. Microsoft must thus keep working to allay these worries and successfully handle the UK case.

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