US authorities rejected the $69 billion wedding between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, and filed a lawsuit to block them.
This announcement sank the video game giant which, in a positive session of US listings, managed to lose nearly 4%.
“We seek to prevent Microsoft from taking control” of an independent game company and using it to “harm competition in dynamic and growing video game markets,” says the FTC, arguing that the merger is also detrimental to consumers.
Indeed, Microsoft could “manipulate Activision’s prices and reduce the quality of its games for competing platforms at the expense of consumers,” US authorities point out, in a heavy blow to Microsoft’s ambitions in this sector.
With the California company and its games “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush,” Microsoft had actually catapulted to the third spot among the video game giants by revenue behind Tencent and Sony. The deal would also have given her an additional weapon against the Meta, who is the leader of the metaverse.
Already suspicions of the European Commission
However, the US authorities are not the only ones who have raised suspicions about the operation. At the beginning of November, the European Commission had already expressed its bewilderment and launched an in-depth investigation of its assessment.
For the Biden administration, stopping the wedding is a challenge. This is especially true of Lisa Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission who made headlines for her criticisms of Amazon. The lawsuit launched will be a test for her to see if her aggressive plans to control Big Tech’s overpowering power can survive in court.
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