The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft to stop it from acquiring Activision, a major gaming company, for $69 billion. Brad Smith, the president of the software company, recently stated that they “have enormous faith” in the case, thus despite this, they remain upbeat.
The Microsoft CEO emphasised the company’s edge that boosts its position to seal the transaction in this week’s interview with Agence France-Presse. Smith claims that Sony’s larger market share in video game consoles and Microsoft’s continued approval of Activision games for PlayStation will foster competition.
“We strongly believe that this kind of acquisition, where we have more first-party titles and are committed to making them available for purchase on Sony PlayStation for the next ten years, is good for competition, good for consumers,” Smith said. “If you really ask what will promote competition, what will bring more opportunities both for game developers and gamers.” So I’m optimistic about our chances of seeing an administrative law judge.
Smith’s reasoning refers to Sony’s and other regulators’ recurrent assertion that Microsoft may soon prevent its rivals from accessing Activision’s games. Despite this, it is worth noting that the Redmond company recently made a number of concessions to all parties involved, including giving the FTC concessions, giving Nintendo a 10-year licencing deal for Call of Duty (COD), offering the same to Sony, and even granting COD the right to appear on PlayStation Plus.
The FTC emphasised in its statement on its complaint how Microsoft couldn’t be trusted because of the prior acts it took after concluding the $7.5 billion Zenimax deal. During the European Commission’s (EC) antitrust investigation of the ZeniMax acquisition, the business, according to the agency, “assured the EC that Microsoft would not have the motive to withhold ZeniMax titles from competitor consoles,” the agency alleged. It further stated that following the transaction’s completion, Microsoft made the decision to make ZeniMax games like Elder Scrolls VI, Redfall, and Starfield exclusive to its gaming service. This would be a strong angle to support the FTC’s case, but the European watchdog refuted the assertions made by the US agency, claiming that Microsoft had not made the supposed obligations.
In a statement made before Smith’s, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “Of course, any acquisition of this size will go through examination, but we feel very, very confident that we’ll come out.” However, Nadella made a suggestion in November that the business is also open to the prospect that it won’t be able to complete the purchase. Despite this, the CEO emphasised that the company’s decades of effort and expertise will ensure that it “will be in gaming moving forward.”