The US government on Thursday filed a complaint seeking to block Microsoft’s $69 billion bid for video game maker Activision Blizzard. For Joe Biden’s government, the deal will hurt competition.
In January, Microsoft announced an agreement to buy Activision for US$ 68.7 billion, the biggest deal in the history of the video game industry.
In the complaint, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleges that Microsoft has a history of buying valuable content in the gaming industry and using it to outperform other game console makers.
“Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its rivals,” said Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s competition office. “Today we seek to prevent Microsoft from gaining control of a leading independent studio and using it to undermine competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing markets.”
Microsoft President Brad Smith said the company will defend itself against the FTC’s allegations. “While we believe in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present it in court,” he said.
Activision owns popular game franchises such as “Call of Duty”, “World of Warcraft” and “Diablo”. The FTC said it is concerned that the developer’s titles will not continue to be available on a variety of consoles, PCs and mobile devices.
Activision Blizzard Chief Executive Bobby Kotick told employees on Thursday he was confident the deal would go through.
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