Microsoft Says Activision Was Already Planning Layoffs Following Complaints From the FTC - NewsWilliam D'Angelo , posted on 08 February 2024 / 4,417 Views
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sent a complaint to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals this week over Microsoft laying off 1,900 employees at its gaming division. The layoffs are primarily at Activision Blizzard, however, some at Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda/ZeniMax will also be impacted.
"The reported elimination of thousands of jobs undermines the FTC’s ability to order effective relief," reads a letter from the FTC (via Bloomberg).
The FTC stated "the layoffs show that the merger created areas of overlap and the court should have paused Microsoft’s integration of the two companies while the agency completes its in-house trial," according to the report from Bloomberg.
Microsoft has sent a letter to VideoGamesChronicle saying Activision Blizzard was already planning on making large scale layoffs even if the acquisition was not approved.
"Consistent with broader trends in the gaming industry, Activision was already planning on eliminating a significant number of jobs while still operating as an independent company," said Microsoft. "The recent announcement thus cannot be attributed fully to the merger."
A Microsoft spokesperson added, "In continuing its opposition to the deal, the FTC ignores the reality that the deal itself has substantially changed.
"Since the FTC lost in court last July, Microsoft was required by the UK competition authority to restructure the acquisition globally and therefore did not acquire the cloud streaming rights to Activision Blizzard games in the United States.
"Additionally, Sony and Microsoft signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation on even better terms than Sony had before."
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.