Report claims FTC is likely to challenge Microsoft’s $68.7B Activision deal. Politico reported late Wednesday that the United States regulator is very much likely to file an antitrust suit against Microsoft’s blockbuster video game deal.
Report Claims FTC Is Likely to Challenge Microsoft’s $68.7B Activision Deal
Microsoft’s blockbuster $68.7 billion buy of game maker Activision Blizzard may once again face a new regulatory hurdle, with a report from Politico citing that the US Federal Trade Commission is “likely” to file an antitrust suit against the deal.
The story, which was published late Wednesday citing anonymous sources, reported that the FTC’s commissioners had not yet voted on whether to file suit against Microsoft. But, however, the publication added that the FTC’s staff are “skeptical” about each company’s claims of benefits from the deal. And with that being said, an investigation into the deal is reportedly ongoing at the moment.
What Microsoft Has To Say about the New Development
The FTC did not respond to a request for comment immediately. A Microsoft spokesperson however said that said the company is “prepared to address the concerns of regulators.” Microsoft has stated in the past that it believes the deal will be approved both in the US and in overseas. A spokesperson from Activision defended the deal, citing in a statement that it will “benefit gamers and the U.S. gaming industry, especially as we face increasingly stiff competition from abroad.”
In the event that the FTC does ultimately challenge Microsoft’s deal, it’ll be the biggest move that has been made by President Joe Biden’s administration against the tech industry. FTC Chair Lina Kahn has long expressed interest in reining in tech’s largest companies, which have now grown to become some of the biggest and most highly valued in the world. And she’s not alone in this.
The Tech World Have Been Scrutinized By both Lawmakers and Regulators Lately
Regulators and lawmakers all over the globe have increasingly scrutinized the tech world, following a series of privacy and political scandals at both Facebook and Google in particular. Amazon on the other hand has also been targeted as one of the world’s largest retailers, while Apple has been criticized for the power it wields in regard to the more than 1 billion actively used iPhones.
Microsoft Largely Has Avoided Scrutiny As Of Late
Microsoft largely has avoided scrutiny as of late, despite a US judge famously declaring it a monopolist over two decades ago. The executives of the company have spent the previous year discussing the Activision deal with regulators all over the world, who’ve received concerns from competitors and this is including Sony’s PlayStation division.
What the Involvement of the FTC Means to the Deal
And even if the FTC does ultimately challenge Microsoft’s deal, it may not get to win in court. Longtime video game industry analyst Michael Pachter, of Wedbush Securities, has responded to the story, saying that he expects that the regulator would be “crushed in court” and that it will also likely strike an agreement with Microsoft in a bid “to maintain the status quo.”