Politico: FTC Is Likely to Challenge Microsoft’s $69 Billion Activision Acquisition

Josh Sisco, reporting for Politico:

The Federal Trade Commission is likely to file an antitrust
lawsuit to block Microsoft’s $69 billion takeover of video game
giant Activision Blizzard, maker of the hit games Call of Duty
and Candy Crush, according to three people with knowledge of
the matter.

A lawsuit would be the FTC’s biggest move yet under Chair Lina
Khan to rein in the power of the world’s largest technology
companies. It would also be a major black mark for Microsoft,
which has positioned itself as a white knight of sorts on
antitrust issues in the tech sector after going through its own
grueling regulatory antitrust battles around the world more than
two decades ago.

Central to the FTC’s concerns is whether acquiring Activision
would give Microsoft an unfair boost in the video game market.
Microsoft’s Xbox is number three to the industry-leading Sony
Interactive Entertainment and its PlayStation console. Sony,
however, has emerged as the deal’s primary opponent, telling the
FTC and regulators in other countries that if Microsoft made hit
games like Call of Duty exclusive to its platforms Sony would be
significantly disadvantaged.

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