Microsoft is ready to fight the FTC
Microsoft Corp. is ready to fight for its $69 billion acquisition of gaming company Activision Blizzard Inc.
The purchase of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft is about to enter a period of turbulence as at the horizon is full of conflicts between the acquiring company and the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In this regard, new information has indicated that Microsoft is already preparing to fight with the North American regulator every time it wants its purchase to go through without making any concessions.
A dispute looms between Microsoft and the FTC
A few hours ago, a Bloomberg report cited anonymous sources who opted for that status because they have knowledge of what is happening inside the FTC regarding the purchase of Microsoft, making it clear that this is confidential information. According to their statements, Microsoft chose not to file any prior settlement, compromise, or award with the FTC regarding the Activision-Blizzard purchase and the impact this will have on the video game industry and the competitors involved.
Microsoft’s decision would have been made after Activision-Blizzard raised its voice after the Politico report where it was mentioned that the FTC could block the agreement as a first move to take Microsoft to court and get the company to yield to the authorities. to modify everything that the regulator considers with the potential of a monopolistic act. Said report was taken as an indirect warning by the FTC that would have bothered both Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard, recalling that the relationship between regulators and companies will always be tense, especially when it comes to large purchases or mergers.
Likewise, Microsoft’s position takes place a few days after the FTC receives the recommendations of those responsible for analyzing the purchase and with the expectation that in January there will be a green or red light from the regulator.
Microsoft is ready to fight for its $69 billion acquisition of gaming company Activision if the FTC files a lawsuit seeking to block the deal https://t.co/xxbFgRdHex
— Bloomberg Markets (@markets) December 3, 2022
Microsoft is already preparing to fight in court for the purchase of Activision-Blizzard
According to the sources, Microsoft is already preparing to defend its acquisition in court, anticipating that the FTC will oppose it as a means of pressure since the company has not made any prior commitment. In recent days, information was revealed that pointed to meetings held between Microsoft and Sony to discuss the matter , since the Japanese company is fiercely opposed to the purchase, but this report suggests that both companies did not come to anything.
Until now, the expectation of the specialists is that the FTC does not have elements to beat Microsoft in court and a legal action between the company and the regulator would only be a means of pressure that would lengthen the approval of the purchase. It should be remembered that Microsoft’s initial perspective was for the deal to be approved in March 2023, but now that window has been moved to June of next year; If there is a conflict with the authorities, the purchase would take longer, perhaps until the end of the year.
Finally, although the chances of the purchase being definitively blocked are small, the report points to two precedents that would not play in favor of Microsoft and that are motivating the FTC to hinder the deal. The first was the company’s decision to back out of its purchase of accounting software maker Intuit Inc. in 1995 when it agreed it would rather let go of the deal than face lengthy court proceedings. Second, the climate of tension currently experienced by Ticketmaster and its monopolistic practices since the company made prior agreements in 2010 before the FTC to approve the merger with Live Nation and in the end this was to no avail.