April 13, 2024
Despite Microsoft's victory in court: FTC bites ...

To close the deal, Microsoft is willing to make some concessions. But this is not enough for the US antitrust authorities.

That’s about $70 billion and Microsoft’s position in the gaming market over the next few years. But even after months of persuasion and a grueling five days in court, the FTC, the US Chamber of Commerce, isn’t satisfied. The concessions that Microsoft has been willing to make are not enough. The FTC filed an appeal Wednesday after the verdict was announced. But Microsoft has no intention of giving up.

“We are disappointed that the FTC is continuing to pursue a case that has proven weak,” said attorney and Microsoft vice president Brad Smith. The FTC initially declined to provide further information.

Legal experts doubted that the authority would carry out their objection. The appeals court will primarily examine whether there are facts to support the FTC’s claim that Microsoft will deny its competitors licenses for Activision games such as “Call of Duty,” said University of California antitrust expert Daniel Crane. Michigan Law School. “The FTC may have difficulty appealing to prove this fact. That would void the case as presented.

Should the agency lose its appeal, it is faced with the choice of dropping the lawsuit in the master settlement between Microsoft and Activision. This needs to be negotiated in August. In February, it decided to take such a step in the dispute over the acquisition of the software company Within by Facebook’s parent company Meta.

Microsoft concessions to an agreement

On Tuesday, a US judge denied an FTC request for an injunction barring the companies from working on the merger pending a decision in the main proceedings. The regulator didn’t sufficiently explain that after taking over Activision, Microsoft will no longer release its classic game “Call of Duty” for Sony’s PlayStation or that competition would be substantially impaired by the deal.

“Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision has been described as the largest in the history of the technology. Worth a review. That review paid off,” Judge Jacqueline Corley wrote in her reasoning. Not only has Microsoft committed to keeping Call of Duty on Playstation on equal footing with Xbox for ten years. Agreement with Nintendo. Activision’s hit game will also come to Switch. “And has entered into multiple agreements to bring Activision’s content to multiple cloud gaming services for the first time,” continued the judge, concluding with the following assessment: “For the reasons explained, the court finds that the FTC has shown no likelihood that it will prevail in its assertion that this particular vertical merger could significantly reduce competition in this specific industry.”

British antitrust authorities want to reconsider the verdict

In response to this ruling, the British antitrust authority CMA announced it would reconsider its takeover ban. In the event that an agreement is reached with the companies on further concessions, however, a formal examination will have to be carried out again.

The two companies are pushing to hurry. The official acquisition period ends on July 18th. However, companies are free to agree on an extension.

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