FTC Sues To Block Microsoft From Acquiring Activision Blizzard

By Bill Galluccio

December 8, 2022

Bill Gates Steps Down From Microsoft's Board
Photo: Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Microsoft to block its $68.7 billion acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard. The FTC said that the proposed deal "would enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business."

The FTC cited Microsoft's acquisition of ZeniMax and the subsequent decision to make several high-profile games exclusive to Microsoft.

"Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals," said Holly Vedova, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition. "Today, we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets."

Microsoft issued a statement saying that it would fight the lawsuit.

"We continue to believe that this deal will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers," Brad Smith, Microsoft's vice chair and president said in a statement to The Verge. "We have been committed since Day One to addressing competition concerns, including by offering earlier this week proposed concessions to the FTC. While we believed in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present our case in court."

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