On Thursday, Dec 22, Microsoft responded to the complaint filed by the US Federal Trade Commission. Microsoft said that the deal with Activision is meant to benefit gamers and poses no harm to rival companies.
In an effort to scuttle the acquisition, the FTC filed a complaint against Microsoft this month. The FTC Commissioner argued that the acquisition would hinder competition in the gaming sector.
The complaint filed on December 8, reflects the concern that Activision’s popular games including Call of Duty, Diablo, and World of Warcraft will be barred from being offered on rival gaming devices such as Sony’s PlayStation.
Another lawsuit has also been filed by a community of gamers in California, New Jersey, and New Mexico. Gamers believe that the proposed acquisition would give Microsoft enormous market power in the video game industry. Outsized power would give Microsoft the ability to block out rivals, reduce consumer choices, raise prices, and further stifle competition.
Plaintiff’s attorney Joseph Saveri said that protecting the booming video game industry against monopolistic mergers is becoming more crucial as it will ultimately harm gamers.
Microsoft, however, offered Sony a 10-year licensing deal. According to that deal, Activision’s most popular game ‘Call of Duty’ will not be taken off from the Playstation for the next 10 years and the game will be released for Playstations on the same day as Microsoft Xbox consoles. Microsoft said in the filing that Sony refused to deal.
According to Microsoft, the acquisition will lower the price of Activision Blizzard’s games since it does not offer its new games through subscription services like Microsoft’s Game Pass.
Brazil favored the Microsoft-Activision deal while the United Kingdom has been examining it carefully.