Video gamers sue Microsoft in US court to stop Activision takeover

Video gamers sue Microsoft in US court to stop Activision takeover

The lawsuit filed in federal court in California comes about two weeks after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued an administrative law judge to stop Microsoft, owner of the Xbox console, from making the largest acquisition ever made on the video game market.

The private lawsuit also seeks an order preventing Microsoft from acquiring Activision. It was filed on behalf of 10 video game players from California, New Mexico and New Jersey.

The proposed acquisition would give Microsoft “grossly outsized market power in the video game industry,” according to the complaint, “with the ability to squeeze out rivals, limit production, reduce consumer choice, raise prices and further inhibit competition”.

A Microsoft representative had no immediate comment on Tuesday. After the FTC complaint, Microsoft Chairman Brad Smith said, “We have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present our case in court.”

In a statement, plaintiffs’ attorney Joseph Saveri, San Francisco, said, “As the video game industry continues to grow and evolve, it is critical that we protect the market from monopolistic mergers that will hurt long-term consumers.

Private plaintiffs can pursue antitrust complaints in a US court, even if a related US agency case is pending. The takeover, announced in January, is also subject to antitrust scrutiny in the European Union.

The FTC previously said it filed a lawsuit to stop “Microsoft from taking control of a leading independent game studio.” The agency said the merger would hurt competition between rival gaming platforms Nintendo Co Ltd and Sony Group Corp.

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