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FTC Sues to Block Microsoft's Acquisition of Game Giant Activision


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Microsoft president Brad Smith indicated the company would fight the lawsuit, saying in a statement that the company has “been committed since Day One to addressing competition concerns."

Credit: Hakan Nural/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday sued to block Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of the video game publisher Activision Blizzard, charging that the massive deal would allow the Washington tech giant to suppress its competitors in gaming.

The lawsuit represents the FTC's most significant effort to rein in consolidation in the tech industry since prominent tech critic Lina Khan (D) became the commission's chair and was expected to usher in a new era of antitrust enforcement characterized by a willingness to bring cases in court rather than pursue settlements with companies.

The case signals a broader strategy at the agency to bring cases against deals that may pose competitive threats in the future, especially in nascent gaming markets. The lawsuit was issued the same day that a trial began in San Jose, CA, in an FTC lawsuit against Facebook parent company Meta over its acquisition of the virtual reality company Within. The agency has argued that if the companies could be kept separate, they would push each other to develop more features and attract more users, benefitting competition in the future.

From The Washington Post
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