Activision Blizzard Xbox Microsoft Antitrust 1
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A day dominated by stories involving Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard has concluded with an exclusive story by Politico, which claims the Federal Trade Commission could be poised to file an antitrust lawsuit against the acquisition. The website cites “three people with knowledge on the matter”, and claims that it 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 should be noted that the lawsuit is not yet guaranteed, as “the FTC’s four commissioners have yet to vote out a complaint or meet with lawyers for the companies”. However, if the case is taken to court, we could find out as early as next month. Sony has been actively fighting against the acquisition, as it claims the buyout would dramatically impede its ability to compete.

Earlier today, in a document published by UK government regulators, the Japanese giant insinuated that Microsoft’s “true strategy” is to ensure PlayStation is a “less effective” competitor. “Post-transaction, Xbox would become the one-stop shop for all the best-selling shooter franchises on console, […] and it would then be free from serious competitive pressure,” it said.

Microsoft, to its credit, has repeatedly insisted that it’ll continue to release Call of Duty games on PlayStation platforms – although Sony suits haven’t been convinced by the terms. The FTC, meanwhile, allegedly has concerns beyond Activision’s juggernaut first-person shooter franchise. “Investigators are trying to determine how Microsoft could leverage future, unannounced titles to boost its gaming business, according to two people with knowledge of the review,” Politico reports.