On Thursday, the FTC filed a complaint to block the $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, the largest of its kind in the video game industry. It is no secret that Microsoft and Sony are the two largest players in the console market, and as such come under a lot of scrutiny when trying to buy up the most popular game development firms. In its press release, the FTC specifically cited the famous best-selling Call of Duty franchise, which belongs to Activision Blizzard, as a potential threat to the future of the industry if it falls into Microsoft’s hands.
The FTC believes that if Microsoft were to acquire Activision Blizzard, it would try to unfairly curb the market to suppress the ability for Sony and others to be able to compete on a level playing field. Citing Microsoft’s previous acquisition of Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax, the FTC has made a case to stop the deal. Microsoft changed over certain ZeniMax/Bethesda titles to Microsoft exclusives, which went against their promises to EU antitrust regulators. The FTC commission voted 3 to 1 to issue the complaint.
The official complaint can be found here.