Microsoft on Thursday filed a response to a Federal Commerce Fee lawsuit aiming to dam its $68.7 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, arguing that it will not damage competitors within the online game trade.
The FTC mentioned earlier this month in its lawsuit difficult the acquisition that the software program big will “harm competition” amongst sport console makers together with Sony and Nintendo. Microsoft countered in its submitting that the acquisition is about serving to its Xbox unit to change into extra aggressive.
“Xbox desires to develop its presence in cellular gaming, and three quarters of Activision’s avid gamers and greater than a 3rd of its revenues come from cellular choices,” Microsoft mentioned in its 37-page response. “Xbox additionally believes it’s good enterprise to make Activision’s restricted portfolio of standard video games extra accessible to shoppers, by placing them on extra platforms and making them extra reasonably priced.”
The deal, announced earlier this year, is the most important ever for the software program maker and in addition inside the video sport trade. Microsoft, which additionally makes the Xbox online game console, has been talking with regulators world wide in an effort to achieve approval for its acquisition. Microsoft earlier mentioned it expects to full the deal someday across the summer season of 2023.
The FTC’s transfer towards Microsoft marks one of many US authorities’s largest efforts to tackle the tech trade, which has witnessed corporations like Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Meta changing into some of the most highly valued companies on the planet. Amid all that progress, opponents and regulators have been asking whether or not the tech trade has an excessive amount of energy and whether or not corporations have been appearing as monopolies.
The company argued in its Dec. 8 lawsuit towards the software program big’s acquisition of the Name of Obligation maker, saying Microsoft had used earlier acquisitions to make a number of high-profile upcoming titles just like the space exploration game Starfield and the vampire shooting game Redfall unique to gadgets powered by its software program. Microsoft mentioned it supplied Sony the precise to promote the navy shooter as a part of its PlayStation Plus service, however “Sony refuses to deal,” Microsoft mentioned in its submitting.
“The acquisition of a single sport by the third-place console producer can’t upend a extremely aggressive trade,” Microsoft mentioned in its response. “That’s significantly so when the producer has made clear it won’t withhold the sport. The truth that Xbox’s dominant competitor has to this point refused to just accept Xbox’s proposal doesn’t justify blocking a transaction that can profit shoppers.”
Microsoft mentioned it hopes an amicable decision could be discovered that advantages all within the trade.
“Even with confidence in our case, we stay dedicated to artistic options with regulators that can defend competitors, shoppers, and staff within the tech sector,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and vice chair, mentioned in an announcement.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick additionally defended the deal in a separate assertion Thursday, saying that “There is no such thing as a smart, authentic motive for our transaction to be prevented from closing.”
The FTC did not instantly reply to a request for remark.