Microsoft is trying to convince regulators around the world to erase it $68.7 billion from the acquisition of Activision Blizzard – The biggest deal of its kind the gaming industry has ever seen. Amid concerns about its impact on competition in the industry, and in the face of strong lobbying against the deal by rival Sony, the US Federal Trade Commission said Will try to legally block the transactionUK Competition and Markets Authority He also expressed doubts.
Here’s Microsoft’s latest plan to take over Activision Blizzard.
Google and Nvidia have reportedly raised concerns about the deal
to me bloombergGoogle and Nvidia have both echoed Sony in expressing concerns to the Federal Trade Commission about the possibility of a merger to crush competition, strengthening the regulator’s case as it prepares to take it to the courts in August.
Neither of them is as direct a competitor to Microsoft in gaming as Sony is, but they both have some overlap. Nvidia’s main business is making graphics cards, but it also has a streaming service, GeForce Now, which is probably the closest competitor to Microsoft’s Cloud Gaming initiative. (GeForce Now doesn’t appear to currently carry any major Activision Blizzard games.) Nvidia reportedly doesn’t directly oppose the deal, but has stressed the need for open and equal access to Activision Blizzard games.
Google’s streaming service, Stadia, About to close. But the company has a strong interest in mobile gaming across its Google Play Store and Android operating system, acquiring mobile giant King (candy crush) as part of the Activision Blizzard deal will make Microsoft a much larger player in the space. Most likely, her complaint is just a tech giant trying to curb another company’s influence.
Microsoft says it hopes to implement its pro-union approach to Activision Blizzard
on Jan 6th As reported by The VergeMicrosoft ran an ad in the Washington Post highlighting its acceptance of unions, and it was co-signed by the Communications Workers of America. “As we enter the new year, we remain committed to creating the best workplaces we can for the people who make a living in the tech sector. When workers and management bring their voices to the table, employees, shareholders and customers alike benefit,” the memo reads. Then he adds: “During 2023, we hope to bring the same agreement and principles to Activision Blizzard, which Microsoft has proposed to acquire.”
This is certainly a promotional offer for the FTC as Microsoft can improve working conditions at Activision Blizzard, which Show resistance To move for unions among its employees yet Shocking scandal About workplace culture in 2021. Ad highlights Successful unionization of 300 workers at Bethesda and ZeniMax After Microsoft’s acquisition of that company, he concludes, “We’re not asking the FTC to ignore competition concerns. On the contrary, we believe it’s important to explore solutions that protect competition and consumers while advancing the needs of workers, economic growth, and American innovation.”
Microsoft admits it was wrong to call FTC ‘unconstitutional’
At a time when it’s looking to settle things with a skeptical, not to mention hostile, regulator, Microsoft has walked back one of the most troubling allegations in its response to an FTC lawsuit trying to block a merger. According to AxiosOn January 5, Microsoft revised its filing to remove the allegation that the FTC structure violated the US Constitution.
“The FTC has an important mission to protect competition and consumers, and we quickly updated our response to remove language indicating otherwise based on the Constitution,” David Cody, Microsoft public affairs spokesperson, told Axios. We initially put all possible arguments on the table internally and had to drop these defenses before we raised them. We value feedback on these defenses and are working directly with those who have raised concerns to clarify our position.” In other words: Sorry, we know that was out of order, we got it wrong.
The FTC says it is not in “substantial” negotiations with Microsoft
On Tuesday, January 3, the first pre-trial hearing was held for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit trying to block the merger. at that point, FTC attorney James Weingarten said that the commission had authorized settlement talks with Microsoft, but that “there are no substantive discussions at this time”.
This sounds like bad news for Microsoft, but “objectivity” is the key word here. The two sides are no doubt in touch, and Microsoft will almost certainly make a settlement offer — these days, the tech giant is known for taking a collaborative approach with governments and regulators, and will make sure the deal closes before its offer to Activision Blizzard expires in July 2023. It won’t start. The trial itself is through August.
The British regulator says it needs more time to investigate the deal
On January 5, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority — which, along with the Federal Trade Commission and European Commission, is one of three regulators seen as strong enough to block the deal altogether — He said it would take more time to complete what it calls “phase two” of a deeper look at the deal.
The Capital Markets Conference originally hoped to conclude its deliberations by March 1, but has pushed back that deadline to April 26. However, he says he aims to wrap it up earlier on that date. The CMA said it was “concerned” about the deal, and so far seems very impressed by Sony’s pressure. But, in public consultationfound that the majority of responses were in favor of the deal (apart from the 500 that “contained offensive content (with no other substantive content), were empty or incomprehensible, stated to be from consumers outside the UK, or not in English.”
Shelley agrees to the takeover
On December 29, 2022, the Chilean National Economic Prosecutor’s Office It became the latest international regulator to approve the deal. She said she didn’t think the deal would significantly reduce competition, nor did she think Microsoft would likely pull Call of Duty from other platforms including PlayStation (this concern was at the heart of Sony’s objection to the deal).
Here is a list of all the countries that have approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard so far:
- Saudi Arabia
what happened after that?
The next major deadline is the European Commission’s ruling, which is due to be delivered on or by March 23.