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Activision: We will ‘fight’ for the Xbox, Microsoft merger if necessary

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Yesterday, Politico broke a vague (and slightly clickbaity) story that claimed four anonymous sources within the FTC are raising the prospect of the big U.S. regulator suing to block the deal between Microsoft and Activision. Indeed, Microsoft is trying to spend $69 billion dollars to get the Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and Warcraft maker under its umbrella, with hopes of bolstering Xbox Game Pass in the fight against Apple and Google’s mobile gaming duopoly. Sony with its PlayStation division has come out strongly against the deal, as you might expect, despite Microsoft’s guarantee that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation “as long as a PlayStation exists.”  

According to some onlookers like industry analyst Michael Pachter, the FTC’s case against the deal is an attempt to win concessions in writing from Microsoft without having to take the deal to court — something Pachter expects would go badly for the FTC. Indeed, there’s little precedent for a blocker on this kind of deal, and when you examine the game industry properly, it’s among the more competitive and vibrant industries out there, save for Google and Apple’s stranglehold over mobile app stores (an actual monopoly that the FTC should investigate).

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