Microsoft has multiplied the opening gestures in recent weeks, but nothing has helped. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has just voted 3 to 1 in favor of launching a complaint against the Redmond firm, which it accuses of harming competition in the video game market. As a result, the takeover of Activision-Blizzard by the Tech giant for 69 billion dollars is in a bad way.
Microsoft will have to wait very long months before being fixed
Quoted by FortuneHolly Vedova, director of the FTC’s competition bureau, is not going too far: “Microsoft has already shown that it can and wants to withhold content from its gaming rivals. Today, we seek to stop Microsoft from taking control of a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in several dynamic and growing game markets. »
Heavily questioned, Microsoft prefers for the time being to keep a low profile, and has not commented on this decision. This new action is in any case a new affirmation of the intentions of the FTC and its president Lina Khan. Since her appointment by Joe Biden, the new leader has taken tough stances of fighting takeover attempts by big tech companies. One of the greatest illustrations of this strategy was the blocking of the takeover of ARM by Nvidia.
For Microsoft, the launch of this procedure is in any case very bad news. We know that the latter are relatively long, from several months to a year, and this therefore delays the transaction. The problem is all the stronger as the takeover is also closely scrutinized by the European antitrust authorities who have expressed their doubts in the past.
Xbox wants to reassure
However, the Redmond firm wanted to be reassuring this week. She has indeed explained that she is committed to offering Call of Duty on Nintendo consoles for a period of ten years, if the takeover has been validated. It had previously done the same for Steam and PlayStation.
This franchise of ultra-popular games is indeed the object of all the attention, and many fear that Xbox will claim exclusivity, which would thus be a great blow to the competition.
However, Microsoft executives have repeatedly stated that this was not their intention, and that this idea was commercially aberrant because it would cause them to lose many potential customers.