FTC pushes forward with lawsuit to block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard

Easily the biggest roadblock to Microsoft's plan so far.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit today to block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of giant video game publisher Activision Blizzard.

The lawsuit, as first reported by The Washington Post, will look to block the tech giant Microsoft from acquiring one of the largest gaming publishers in the world in Activision Blizzard, the publisher of some of gaming’s biggest franchises, such as Call of Duty, Warcraft, and numerous others.

In the FTCs official release, the Commission says that the deal would enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.

The FTC even pointed to Microsofts acquisition of ZeniMax, parent company of Fallout and Skyrim developers Bethesda Softworks, as a recorded instance of the company “acquiring and using valuable gaming content to suppress competition from rival consoles.” They claim that Microsoft’s decision to make titles like Redfall and Starfield exclusive to Xbox and PC went against “assurances it had given to European antitrust authorities that it had no incentive to withhold games from rival consoles.”

“With control over Activisions blockbuster franchises,” the FTC’s report reads, Microsoft would have both the means and motive to harm competition by manipulating Activisions pricing, degrading Activisions game quality or player experience on rival consoles and gaming services, changing the terms and timing of access to Activisions content, or withholding content from competitors entirely, resulting in harm to consumers.”

This is a breaking news story with more details to follow. Updates will be added as soon as possible.

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