icrosoft’s contentious acquisition of Activision Blizzard is underway, but the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) aims to block this $69 billion transaction. This move could potentially cost Microsoft up to $3 billion in breakup fees.
Body: In the information technology industry, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been a hot topic. However, on Monday (12th), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) petitioned a federal court for an injunction, trying to halt this $69 billion deal before the transaction deadline of July 18th.
Reports suggest that while Microsoft remains committed to acquiring Activision Blizzard, the FTC is concerned that Microsoft could monopolize Activision Blizzard’s gaming products through this deal. This includes the power to control prices, game quality, and even outright refusal of competitors’ content. Furthermore, Microsoft might prevent popular Activision Blizzard games from being offered on other gaming platforms, like Sony’s gaming console, or impose higher fees on games launched on other consoles.
The FTC, responsible for enforcing antitrust laws, already requested in December of last year to halt the transaction. The trial is scheduled to begin on August 2nd. Simultaneously, if the court takes no action, the merged company could potentially alter Activision Blizzard’s operations and business plans, and could allow Microsoft to acquire sensitive business information.
Although Microsoft continues to push for this transaction, the UK’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) rejected the deal in April, while the European Union approved the acquisition in May. If the transaction ultimately fails to complete, Microsoft could potentially have to pay up to $3 billion in breakup fees.
This ongoing move between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard not only affects these two tech giants but might also have profound impacts on the global gaming industry.