Washington wants to block Microsoft’s takeover of Activision – ICT news

Washington wants to block Microsoft’s takeover of Activision – ICT news

The US competition authority, the FTC, filed a complaint on Thursday to block the $ 69 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard, publisher of successful video games like Call of Duty, by Microsoft.

If the operation comes to an end, Microsoft, maker of the Xbox console and owner of several development studios, “would obtain control over leading franchises”, explains the agency in a press release. It “would harm competition in high-performance game consoles and subscription services by denying or degrading rivals’ access to its popular content,” it adds.

The FTC sees proof of this in Microsoft’s behavior after the acquisition of a smaller publisher, ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. Once the transaction was finalized, Microsoft decided to reserve the exclusivity of games like Starfield after having nevertheless assured the European competition authorities that the company had no interest in not distributing the games on competing consoles, argues the agency.

But Activision, which has 154 million monthly active users worldwide and produces some of the most iconic video games, “is one of the few video game developers in the world creating and publishing high-quality video games for multiple devices, including video game consoles, PCs, and mobile devices,” the FTC said.

“That could change if the takeover deal is cleared,” the agency said. “We continue to believe that this agreement will broaden competition and create more opportunities for players and game developers,” responded a Microsoft spokesperson in a message to AFP, noting that the group had offered concessions to the FTC.

“We have complete confidence in our case and we welcome the opportunity to present our case to the court, he added. The operation is also in the crosshairs of Brussels, which opened an in-depth investigation in early November. on its effects.

The European Commission, guardian of competition in the European Union (EU), then explained that it feared that Microsoft could “lock access to Activision Blizzard’s video games” for consoles and PCs and that it was tempted to put in place “strategies for the eviction of competing distributors”. Such strategies could lead to “higher prices, lower quality and reduced innovation” as well as reduced competition in the PC operating system market, the Commission argued.

If the operation comes to an end, Microsoft, maker of the Xbox console and owner of several development studios, “would obtain control over leading franchises”, explains the agency in a press release. It “would harm competition in high-performance game consoles and subscription services by denying or degrading rivals’ access to its popular content,” she adds. Microsoft’s behavior after the acquisition of a smaller publisher, ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. Once the transaction was finalized, Microsoft decided to reserve the exclusivity of games like Starfield after having nevertheless assured the European competition authorities that the company had no interest in not distributing the games on competing consoles, argues the agency. Gold Activision, which has 154 million monthly active users worldwide and produces some of the most iconic video games, “is one of the few video game developers in the world to create and publish high-quality video games for multiple devices, including video game consoles, PCs and mobile devices,” the FTC points out. “That could change if the repurchase agreement is cleared,” the agency said. “We continue to believe that this agreement will broaden competition and create more opportunities for players and game developers,” responded a Microsoft spokesperson in a message to AFP, noting that the group had offered concessions to the FTC. “We have complete confidence in our case and we welcome the opportunity to present our case to the court, he added. The operation is also in the crosshairs of Brussels, which has opened in early November an in-depth investigation into its effects. The European Commission, the guardian of competition in the European Union (EU), then explained that it feared that Microsoft could “lock access to Activision Blizzard’s video games” for consoles and PCs. and that there is an attempt to put in place “strategies to crowd out competing distributors”. Such strategies could lead to “higher prices, lower quality and reduced innovation” as well as a reduction in price. n of competition in the market for PC operating systems, argued the Commission.



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