The FTC report noted that the $69 billion deal is the largest ever in video game history and Microsoft’s largest ever acquisition and “would enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.”
Agency alleges that maker of Xbox would gain control of top video game franchises, enabling it to harm competition in high-performance gaming consoles and subscription services by denying or degrading rivals’ access to its popular content /2
Interestingly enough, the FTC pointed to Microsoft’s recent acquisition of ZeniMax (Bethesda) and its decision to make titles such as Starfield and Redfall exclusive to Xbox consoles. The FTC notes that Microsoft executives had made assurances to European antitrust authorities that it “had no incentive to withhold games from rival consoles” during the Zenimax Acquisition process.
Agency notes that Microsoft decided to make several of Bethesda's titles including Starfield and Redfall Microsoft exclusives despite assurances it had given to European antitrust authorities that it had no incentive to withhold games from rival consoles /5
“Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals,” said Holly Vedova, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “Today we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets.”
Microsoft Vice Chat, Brad Smith has already confirmed that Microsoft has complete confidence in its case to acquire Activision-Blizzard and welcome the opportunity to present it in court.
We continue to believe that our deal to acquire Activision Blizzard will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers.
“We continue to believe that our deal to acquire Activision Blizzard will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers.”
“We have been committed since Day One to addressing competition concerns, including by offering earlier this week proposed concessions to the FTC. While we believe in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present it in court.”