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Microsoft’s Activision Deal Faces FTC Lawsuit

Microsoft's Activision Deal Faces FTC Lawsuit

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft to stop its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the maker of popular video games like Call of Duty and Candy Crush. The FTC argues that the deal would harm competition in various segments of the video game industry.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday. The FTC said it was necessary because Microsoft and Activision have indicated that they may complete the deal by Thursday. The FTC asked the court to issue an order blocking the deal from closing.

This is not the first challenge that Microsoft’s purchase of Activision has faced. Last year, the FTC sued to block the deal through an in-house court. In April, the British Competition and Markets Authority also moved to stop the deal, though regulators in the European Union said in May that it could go ahead.

The deal is the largest consumer technology deal in decades and a test for how governments around the world will respond to the growing power of tech giants like Microsoft. The FTC has also accused Meta, Facebook’s parent company, of stifling competition and has been investigating whether Amazon violated antitrust laws. The Department of Justice has filed multiple lawsuits alleging that Google has committed antitrust violations as well.

Microsoft has appealed the British ruling and has vowed to fight the FTC in court. The two companies had said they hoped to close the deal by July. The British portions of the deal cannot close while Microsoft’s appeal is pending. If a federal court grants the FTC’s request to stop the deal, it would also prevent Microsoft from completing the transaction in the United States.

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