Explainer: Microsoft, Activision Blizzard & FTC – Implications & Consequences On The Games
Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard may go ahead in the United States, as Judge Corley sees no danger of harm to competition. Microsoft will be able to go ahead with its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard in the United States. That is what is extracted from the resolution published today by the San Francisco court that was analyzing the case since the precautionary prohibition of the purchase proposed by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has been denied.
In a brief signed by Judge Corley (and shared by The Verge), it is explained that the FTC’s accusation of an alleged monopolization of the video game sector by Xbox and Activision Blizzard has not been sufficiently proven to block the purchase. The judge ensures that it is clear that Microsoft intends to bring the Call of Duty saga, and the rest of Activision’s content, to a greater number of consumers.
What are the implications of this resolution?
This resolution prevents the purchase proposal from being injunctively blocked, but it does not close the antitrust lawsuit that the FTC filed against Microsoft. In any case, it gives the Xbox company a free hand to go ahead with the acquisition as of July 18, although for this it will have to convince the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority, in Spanish) of the United Kingdom to grant it Also give your go-ahead: the British body blocked it in April, but today it has paralyzed the litigation to negotiate a way to unblock it.
First reactions from Microsoft, Activision Blizzard and the FTC
The first reactions to this decision have not been long in coming: from Microsoft, Brad Smith, vice president of the company, has thanked the court for its decision and assures that he expects other jurisdictions to reach the same conclusion regarding this controversial proposal. shopping. Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, has also reacted by ensuring that the merger “will benefit consumers and employees”, emphasizing again that this purchase will expand the market instead of reducing it.
Phil Spencer, head of Xbox and head of Microsoft Gaming, has also wanted to show his joy publicly: “We are grateful to the court for quickly deciding in our favour. The evidence showed that the Activision Blizzard agreement is good for the industry and the claims of the FTC (…) do not reflect the realities of the video game market”.
For his part, Douglas Farrar, spokesman for the FTC, has shared a statement in which he claims to be “disappointed with the result given the clear threat that this merger represents to open up competition in cloud videogames, subscriptions and consoles”. The US organization does not give up and affirms that in the coming days, they will announce their next move to continue their “fight to preserve competition and protect consumers.”