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Report: Microsoft is 'Ready to Fight' for Its Activision Blizzard Acquisition if the FTC Files a Lawsuit

Report: Microsoft is 'Ready to Fight' for Its Activision Blizzard Acquisition if the FTC Files a Lawsuit - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 03 December 2022 / 3,310 Views

Microsoft is "ready to fight" to get its Activision Blizzard acquisition approved if the Federal Trade Commission in the US files a lawsuit to try to black the deal. This is according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke with Bloomberg.

The person says Microsoft have yet to speak with the FTC about concessions or remedies that are about getting the deal approved. The source claims FTC staff is finishing up its investigation and will be making its recommendation on the deal soon. After this the FTC commissioners will vote on whether or not to file a case.

If the FTC tries to block the deal, Microsoft will contest it is n court, according to the source. Bloomberg Intelligence antitrust analyst Jennifer Rie added a lawsuit to block the deal wouldn't be a surprise, however, a court fight would be hard for enforcers to win. A legal battle could go beyond the deal's end date. Microsoft has previously stated the deal is expected to close by June 30, 2023.

Report: Microsoft is 'Ready to Fight' for Its Activision Blizzard Acqusition if the FTC Files a Lawsuit

Microsoft could abandon the deal if it faces a lawsuit by the FTC as it did this in 1995 when the US government sued to block its deal to acquire accounting software maker Intuit Inc. Microsoft at the time said it didn't want to contend with a long legal battle.

It is believed Microsoft's best chances to get the deal approved by the FTC is to offer concessions saying it won't withhold Activision Blizzard's popular titles, like Call of Duty, from rival platforms like Sony's PlayStation.

Another recent report from Reuters who spoke with people familiar with the matter claims Microsoft is looking likely to offer concessions to the European Commission, the European Union antitrust regulators, some time in the coming weeks over its acquisition of Activision Blizzard as a way to avoid formal objection.

One person with direct knowledge says the main concession is that Microsoft will have a 10 year licensing deal with PlayStation maker Sony.

Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been approved in BrazilSaudi Arabia, and Serbia unconditionally.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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Qwark (on 03 December 2022)

In other news if you drop something in the water it gets wet. Kind of fucking obvious that MS will go to court to try and let a deal of this size go trough.

  • +5
scrapking Qwark (on 03 December 2022)

Yes/no. The article notes that in one previous instance Microsoft dropped their attempt to get the deal done rather than go to court, so it wasn't (and isn't) a sure thing here.

  • +3
XDKrieg33 (on 03 December 2022)

Everything for candy crush.

  • +4
shikamaru317 (on 03 December 2022)

Good. Show the regulators the receipts. Show them how many AAA 3rd party games Sony has either hatted timed exclusivity or timed exclusive content for. Show them how Sony had Destiny 2 removed from Gamepass after they acquired Bungie, yet now believe they deserve CoD day one on PS+ same as Gamepass. Show them everything you have.

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rapsuperstar31 shikamaru317 (on 03 December 2022)

That does goes both ways, do you honestly think the Tales team one day decided it was in it's best interest makingTales of Vesperia exclusive on the 360?

  • 0
ClassicGamingWizzz rapsuperstar31 (on 03 December 2022)

Only sony moneyhats dont you know?

  • -5
shikamaru317 ClassicGamingWizzz (on 03 December 2022)

The last big timed hat by Xbox was Rise of the Tomb Raider 7 years ago, these days they mainly hat indie tier stuff, with a handful of AA's like The Medium, Warhammer 40K: Darktide, and the upcoming Ark 2. In that 7 year timeframe Sony has hatted numerous AAA timed exclusives (FF7R part 1 and 2, FF16, Forspoken, Deathloop, Ghostwire Tokyo, KOTOR Remake, Silent Hill 2 remake, Genshin Impact, and more) with more very likely to come over the next several years (a Bioshock 4 hat has been rumored for awhile). They have also hatted numerous AA games in that timeframe (Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach, Godfall, Stellar Blade, Babylon's Fall, Sifu, Lost Soul Aside, and many more). They are also well known for hatting exclusive content in 3rd party games that they get the marketing rights for, games such as Call of Duty since the marketing rights switched hands from Xbox to PS in 2016, Hogwarts Legacy, Marvel's The Avengers, Lego Marvel's Avengers, Destiny 2, Control, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, and Batman Arkham Knight, just to name a few of many.

Please don't even try to pretend that what Xbox hats is even remotely comparable to what Sony hats. The regulators need to be made aware of just how much competition squashing Sony does, because they clearly don't seem to realize.

  • +10
fauzman shikamaru317 (on 03 December 2022)

You do realise that the Bethesda and ABK purchases far overshadow entire list of games that Sony has moneyhatted.

OT, i thought MS were already fighting for the deal. It has certainly dragged on long enough and shown both Sony and MS is a pretty negative light.

  • 0
pokoko shikamaru317 (on 04 December 2022)

Company A: Purchases the rights to a large selection of individual games, some of which are timed exclusives.

Gamers: "That's terrible! That shouldn't be allowed!"

Company B: Purchases entire publishers with multiple development studios, turning some of the most popular multi-platform franchises in the history of video-gaming into exclusives.

Gamers: "Oh, that's not a big deal."

People can't really be that stupid, can they? Elder Scrolls and Fallout being money-hatted BY THEMSELVES will have more of a negative impact on consumers than all of Sony's list combined. Then why do some people act like that's not so bad? Why do some people leave that out of the equation?

Ignoring the Bethesda money-hat when talking about this subject is shameful and embarrassing. The criteria should ALWAYS be about the harm these deals bring to consumers. People who cast about for excuses to justify the anti-consumer deals of one company while pointing the finger at another are part of the problem.

  • -2
DonFerrari shikamaru317 (on 06 December 2022)

And please don't even try to pretend you are neutral then=p

  • -5
shikamaru317 DonFerrari (on 06 December 2022)

Nobody is truly neutral, everybody leans to one side or the other. Just because I buy consoles from all 3 console makers and like certain aspects from all 3, doesn't mean that I can't favor one of the 3 of them. I've always favored Xbox the most, after a gen 5 funk where I couldn't get into any of the 3 consoles, Xbox brought me back to console gaming from PC.

  • +2
scrapking ClassicGamingWizzz (on 03 December 2022)

Microsoft didn't say they've never made a game exclusive. They merely pointed out Sony's hypocrisy for doing it while also seemingly saying no one should be allowed to do it to them.

  • +4
gtotheunit91 ClassicGamingWizzz (on 03 December 2022)

No, Sony just moneyhats the biggest ones. Like, by a mile.

  • +4
scrapking rapsuperstar31 (on 03 December 2022)

Oh, both have done it. The difference is that Microsoft didn't complain about it, or describe it as an existential threat to their console business. What I have little respect for is Sony complaining about it potentially being done to them, despite them doing it to others.

  • +2
pokoko scrapking (on 04 December 2022)

You mean the same Microsoft that filed a brief with the court this year complaining about Apple's "harmful business practices" which they themselves have been abusing for years?

  • -2
scrapking pokoko (on 06 December 2022)

Which of Apple's harmful business practices that Microsoft cited has Microsoft also done under its current leadership? I can't think of any.

  • +1
DonFerrari scrapking (on 06 December 2022)

You mean same company that had Phil Spencer saying several times that he doesn't like exclusivity, that it harm consumers and that their purchase of Bethesda wasn't to take content to anyone or that they believe in play anywhere?

  • -4
scrapking DonFerrari (on 06 December 2022)

I'd have to re-read their statements, but I don't remember anything exactly as specific as that.

It does occur to me though, that to buy Activision-Blizzard-King they might be asked by regulators to also keep Bethesda games on PS and Nintendo for a period of time. I haven't heard that come up yet, and I'm frankly surprised by that.

  • 0
DonFerrari scrapking (on 07 December 2022)

Well I don't think there is room for asking that since the Bethesda purchase was approved without concessions, going back to that now would be a little strange to me. But sure they may reason that Bethesda was fine at that moment but not now if they grow bigger.

  • 0
scrapking DonFerrari (on 07 December 2022)

I'm not thinking that regulators will necessarily bring it up, I'm thinking Microsoft may voluntarily offer that if need be to get the ABK deal done.

  • +1
DonFerrari scrapking (on 07 December 2022)

That would be a gesture of goodwill hard for regulators to ignore indeed.

  • +1
KratosLives shikamaru317 (on 06 December 2022)

And why exactly are you in favor? All it means is less first party exclusives and more 3rd party multiplats already coming , disguised as first party. Ultimately this means less games on x box come end of console lifespan .

  • -2
shikamaru317 KratosLives (on 06 December 2022)

Because it will make the market more competitive, simple as that. On a personal level, I don't really care about many ABK games and would rather have seen Xbox go for some other publisher I actually like, such as Sega or Square Enix. However, there is no denying that Xbox acquiring ABK will catapult them from a distant 3rd place to either a much closer 3rd place, or even 2nd place.

An Xbox that can compete closely with Playstation is good for the whole industry, gen 7 already proved that with 360 and PS3. Both were constantly trying to one-up one another with price cuts and great Holiday bundles and great exclusives. On the other hands, we have seen twice now that a Playstation that is far ahead of Xbox is bad for the whole industry. They grow arrogant, begin to overcharge, begin to feel they are entitled to every game.

  • +3
KratosLives shikamaru317 (on 07 December 2022)

Xbox is already competing . This deal will do nothing to what sony original would have done in terms of pushing out more games. And it's still a decline of more games to come on series s/x.

  • -1
shikamaru317 KratosLives (on 07 December 2022)

I don't see how it is a decline in the number of exclusives Xbox will be releasing. They already have like 40+ teams across 23 studios that are working on Xbox exclusives which will release later this generation. They also have like 8 different 2nd party exclusives in development currently which have either already been announced or have leaked, probably over 10 total. As for Activision-Blizzard, Xbox has only committed to keeping CoD multiplat, rumor is Blizzard's upcoming new IP will be Xbox exclusive, and Activision's other non-CoD studios like Beenox and Toys for Bob can potentially make Xbox exclusives as well.

  • +2
Azzanation (on 03 December 2022)

Good, the Industry leader should not be dictating the industry. They need competition. Sony stopped making FPS games because they rely on CoD doing their work for them. Sony upped the price on their hardware while reducing the manufacturing cost at the same time, they forced $70 games when movies still to this day remain unchanged. Blocking games from going to GP and they basically moneyhatted their way to the top with the PS1.
Hypocrisy needs to be called out.

  • +2
Jumpin (on 06 December 2022)

Well, that’s good! If FTC sued me, I wouldn’t be ready for a fight.

  • 0
DonFerrari (on 06 December 2022)

It is very obvious they will fight to keep their interest.

And there is a typo on the first paragraph, you wrote "black" instead of "block".

  • -2
scrapking DonFerrari (on 06 December 2022)

But it wasn't obvious that they considered fighting for this deal was in their interest. For one, the decline in the stock market has eroded how good a deal they were getting for ABK. For another, Microsoft in the past has sometimes backed out of deals rather than fight regulators over them. So this is interesting and not obvious news, IMO.

  • +2
Nettles (on 04 December 2022)

Blizzard is crap now anyway, let MS have it.

  • -2
Pemalite Nettles (on 06 December 2022)

WarCraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty... Not exactly small names that can be ignored.

Add on Crash Bandicoot, Tony Hawk...

  • +3
Brimac19 (on 04 December 2022)

Big publishers should not be able to be bought out by anybody!!! Keep all games multiplatform.

  • -2
smroadkill15 Brimac19 (on 04 December 2022)

If that's the case, then start getting on Sony for moneyhatting 3rd party games since all games should be multiplatform. At least be consistent if you actually care.

  • +1
loy310 (on 03 December 2022)

Hope cma, ec and ftc blocks this.

  • -5
pukem0n loy310 (on 03 December 2022)

Hope cma, ec and ftc do not block this

  • +3
SKMBlake pukem0n (on 03 December 2022)

So the FCC won't let me be
Or let me be me, so let me see
They try to shut me down on MTV
But it feels so empty, without me

  • +1
Azzanation SKMBlake (on 03 December 2022)

Not sure why this got down voted

  • +3