Microsoft stated on December 22 that its $69 billion offer to acquire Call of Duty developer Activision Blizzard will benefit both gamers and gaming firms.
Microsoft made the claim in a document intended at persuading a court at the US Federal Trade Commission to approve the acquisition, after FTC commissioners warned the merger would impede competition in the gaming sector in a lawsuit filed this month to stop the agreement.
In a complaint filed on December 8, the FTC expressed worry that Activision’s popular titles, such as World of Warcraft and Diablo, might cease to be provided on devices that compete with Microsoft’s Xbox. A hearing before an administrative law judge has been scheduled for August 2023.
President of Microsoft Brad Smith stated in mid-December that the business has offered to sign a legally enforceable consent decree with the FTC to distribute Call of Duty games to competitors such as Sony and others for a decade.
“The purchase of a single game by the third-place console maker cannot destabilize a fiercely competitive industry. This is especially true when the maker has made it apparent that it will not withhold the game,” Microsoft stated in a filing on Thursday.
Smith stated in a statement released this week that he remained confident in the company’s legal position, but remained “committed to finding solutions with regulators.”
Bobby Kotick, the chief executive officer of Activision, said in a statement on Thursday that he expects the firms will succeed in their legal battle with the trade commission.
The Biden administration has adopted a more robust antitrust enforcement strategy. The US Department of Justice recently halted a $2.2 billion merger between the world’s largest book publisher, Penguin Random House, and its smaller US competitor, Simon & Schuster.
The Microsoft transaction is also under examination outside the United States, with the European Union stating that it will determine whether to allow or ban the deal by March 23, 2023.