Microsoft’s road to acquiring Activision Blizzard has been a rocky one, to say the least. The most recent (and significant) roadblock comes from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which filed a lawsuit a few weeks ago to block the deal from moving forward. Now, Microsoft has fired back with a response, saying the FTC is violating their Fifth Amendment rights to due process.
whole document (which you can read here) claims that the deal should be let go for several other reasons as well, stating that Xbox and Activision Blizzard are “only two of hundreds of game publishers.” The claims that the FTC violates the Constitution are listed on page 34 and are only a handful of defenses against the lawsuit in a list of two dozen.
While the premise of the FTC’s lawsuit is that Microsoft’s deal will stifle competition by limiting access to certain titles, Microsoft’s response claims that “Xbox wants to grow its presence in mobile gaming, and three-quarters of Activision’s gamers And more than a third of its revenue comes from mobile offerings. The FTC doesn’t seem concerned with this (their complaint doesn’t include mobile gaming as a relevant market) and instead focuses on the fact that Microsoft is the largest gaming company in the world. Will owns one of the big game franchises: Call of Duty.
The acquisition would put Microsoft in a position to make the series an Xbox exclusive, but the company has repeatedly reiterated that they have no plans to do so. In this most recent response to the FTC, Microsoft claims that its goal is actually to make the series “more accessible.” In addition to promises that the series would remain on PlayStation consoles, Microsoft Committed to bringing the series to Nintendo consoles For the next ten years, throwing any exclusivity out the window.
Microsoft’s response says, “The acquisition of a single game by a third-place console maker cannot enhance a highly competitive industry.” “This is especially the case when the creator has made it clear that it will not stop the game.”
Currently, it’s unclear whether the $69 billion deal will happen, or whether Microsoft’s claim of unconstitutional actions will have any impact on the FTC’s intention to block it.