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US government to block Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition claims report

US government to block Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition claims report
Whatever happens, this won’t be an easy purchase (pic: Activison)



The FTC is allegedly considering an antitrust lawsuit to stop the Activision Blizzard acquisition, with Google apparently also against it.



At $69 billion (£57 billion) Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is the biggest in the company’s history and that of the video games industry as a whole, so it’s no surprise to find that regulators are very wary of it going ahead.



Although a few countries, namely Brazil and Saudi Arabia , have okayed the deal, the UK and Europe have been much warier, with the UK’s CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) recently announcing that it has started a second, deeper, investigation into the ramifications.



Microsoft will be most worried about what American regulators think but up until now there’s been no real indication of which way they’ll go, but a new report suggests the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) will try and block it.



Current rumours suggest that the FTC will file an antitrust lawsuit to stop the deal, with current chair Lina Khan known to be very wary of consolidation in the technology business.



Supposedly, this could happen as early as next month, with FTC staff reported to be ‘sceptical’ of Microsoft’s arguments in favour of the deal.



Website Politico claims to have three separate, anonymous sources corroborating the information, although they admit that a legal challenge is ‘not guaranteed.’



As with the CMA, the FTC is apparently concerned that Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard (and King) would give Microsoft an unfair advantage in the video games market.



That’s exactly what Sony has argued, with the possibility of Call Of Duty becoming an Xbox exclusive being at the centre of their argument – even as Microsoft promised to keep it multiformat for at least 10 years .



Although most other games companies appear indifferent to the acquisition, the Politico report claims that Google is also against it.



According to two separate sources, Google believes Microsoft is purposefully making Game Pass work poorly with Chrome, in order to encourage people to buy Microsoft hardware.



How to unlock Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 operators SpecGru, KorTac and Zeus Call Of Duty on PlayStation deal bumped up to 10 years says Microsoft Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 battle pass: how to level up, free skins and bonus sector



‘Any suggestion that the transaction could lead to anticomp effects is completely absurd. This merger will benefit gamers and the US gaming industry, especially as we face increasingly stiff competition from abroad,’ said Activision spokesperson Joe Christinat.



‘We are committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but will not hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if required.’



Will the deal go through? (pic: Microsoft)



Email  [email protected] , leave a comment below, and  follow us on Twitter .





MORE : Google allegedly paid Activision and EA not to open rival app stores says Epic Games







MORE : Activision Blizzard acquisition is for Candy Crush not Call Of Duty says Xbox







MORE : Microsoft downplays cloud gaming as ‘immature technology’ in Activision buyout investigation





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For more stories like this,  check our Gaming page .

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