Microsoft’s $69B buyout of Activision likely to be blocked by F

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(Pocket-lint) – Microsoft’s attempted buyout of Activision Blizzard is expected to be blocked by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), according to a report.

The Xbox owner has been trying to push the $69 billion deal through for months now and is in the middle of a global push to try and get international governments to approve the deal. But Microsoft might have its biggest battle on home soil, with the FTC expected to file an antitrust lawsuit in an attempt to block the merger from taking place.

Citing three people with knowledge of what’s going on, Politico reports that the lawsuit isn’t yet guaranteed, but that that “FTC staff reviewing the deal are skeptical of the companies’ arguments” that the buyout won’t have a chilling effect on competition.

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Buying Activision Blizzard would give Microsoft and Xbox control of some of the biggest names in gaming, with the Call of Duty franchise at the top of most lists. Microsoft has sought to allay fears by promising that Call of Duty will remain a cross-platform franchise – even going so far as to offer Sony a 10-year deal to help things along. Whether or not Sony agrees might not matter, with the FTC reportedly insure of any promises being made.

“Central to the FTC’s concerns is whether acquiring Activision would give Microsoft an unfair boost in the video game market,” Politico’s report notes. It’s thought that the likes of Sony would be disadvantaged should the deal be allowed to go through.

So far only a handful of countries have given the deal the go-ahead including Saudi Arabia and Brazil. It now looks increasingly unlikely that the United States will follow suit.

Writing by Oliver Haslam.





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