Microsoft’s road to acquiring Activision Blizzard has been rocky, to say the least. The latest (and most significant) hurdle comes from America’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which filed a lawsuit a few weeks ago to keep the deal from going through. Now Microsoft has fired back with a response, saying the FTC is violating its Fifth Amendment right to due process.
The full document (which you can read here) claims the deal should go through for several other reasons as well, stating that Xbox and Activision Blizzard are “just two of hundreds of game publishers.” The allegations that the FTC violates the Constitution are listed on page 34 and are just a handful of defenses against the lawsuit in a list of two dozen.
While the basis of the FTC’s lawsuit is that Microsoft’s deal will suppress competition by restricting access to certain titles, Microsoft’s response alleges that “Xbox is looking to expand its presence in mobile gaming, and three-quarters of Activision gamers, and more than a third of that revenue comes from mobile.” The FTC does not appear to care (its complaint excludes mobile gaming as a relevant market), focusing instead on the fact that Microsoft is one of the largest gaming franchise in the world: Call of Duty.
The acquisition would enable Microsoft to make the series exclusive to Xbox, but the company has repeatedly reiterated that it has no plans to make that happen. In this latest response to the FTC, Microsoft claims its goal is actually to make the series “more accessible.” In addition to promises that the series would stay on PlayStation consoles, Microsoft committed to bringing the series to Nintendo consoles for the next ten years, throwing any exclusivity out the window.
“The acquisition of a single game by the third-placed console maker can’t turn a highly competitive industry on its head,” Microsoft said in its response. “This is especially true when the manufacturer has made it clear that they will not hold back the game.”
It’s currently unclear whether the $69 billion deal will materialize or whether Microsoft’s allegations of unconstitutional actions will affect the FTC’s intent to block it.
https://www.gameinformer.com/2022/12/27/microsoft-says-ftc-violates-the-constitution-by-blocking-activision-blizzard-acquisition Microsoft says FTC is unconstitutional by blocking acquisition of Activision Blizzard