Xbox's Attempt to Buy Activision Just Hit a Major Roadblock

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson provided ComicBook.com with the following statement:

"As we have said before, we are prepared to address the concerns of regulators, including the FTC, and Sony to ensure the deal closes with confidence. We'll still trail Sony and Tencent in the market after the deal closes, and together Activision and Xbox will benefit gamers and developers and make the industry more competitive."

Original story follows below.

A new report claims that the FTC, one of the most powerful agencies in the United States, will block Microsoft's acquisition of Activision. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it had intended to purchase Activision for just shy of $70 billion, making it the biggest deal in the history of gaming. Immediately, this got a lot of pushback from regulators, politicians, and gamers. Many feared this could result in Call of Duty – a series that just released a game that had the biggest entertainment launch of 2022 – becoming exclusive to Xbox. Microsoft has addressed these concerns by stating that it plans to treat Call of Duty like it has Minecraft, which has continued to exist and be properly supported on PlayStation and other devices. Still, some aren't convinced. Microsoft apparently tried to guarantee that Call of Duty would continue to release on PlayStation for 10 years, but it may not matter.

According to Politico, the FTC is likely to block the Microsoft acquisition of Activision via an antitrust lawsuit, which would be incredibly damaging. It's important to note that Politico stated this is not guaranteed, but FTC staff is "skeptical" of Microsoft's arguments in favor of the deal. The agency is concerned that games like Call of Duty having the ability to become exclusive on Xbox would make for an unfair advantage against PlayStation and potentially create less choice and options for players.

"Any suggestion that the transaction could lead to anticomp effects is completely absurd. This merger will benefit gamers and the US gaming industry, especially as we face increasingly stiff competition from abroad," Activision spokesperson Joe Christinat told Politico. "We are committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but will not hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if required."

As of right now, it remains to be seen what will happen to this deal. Regulators in countries like Brazil have already approved the deal, so it's creating some divisive opinions on a global level. Either way, it's likely we'll hear more in the coming weeks and see if the FTC does move to block the deal with the lawsuit.

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