Microsoft President Brad Smith against an Activision backdrop.

Microsoft President: The FTC suing us over Activision would be a “huge mistake

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In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft President Brad Smith went to task outlining the company’s position on its blockbuster Activision-Blizzard acquisition, valued at $69 billion. 

Recent rumors have been swirling that the FTC plans to sue to block the deal, or at least force Microsoft to climb down and offer Sony PlayStation (the market leader) some hefty concessions. The situation is somewhat unprecedented since it would mark the first time in history a regulator had stepped in to protect a market leader, despite the fact Microsoft has asserted repeatedly, and even offered to contractually commit to a 10-year deal to ensure Call of Duty remains on PlayStation

A lot of the uproar revolving around the deal centers on Sony’s protests that Microsoft may seek to foreclose the world’s biggest shooter from PlayStation, despite the millions, and billions of dollars Microsoft would make by continuing to publish on its platform. Brad Smith explains that the entire point of this merger is offering consumers choice, through a Netflix-like low-cost streaming service, many of us know today as Xbox Game Pass. 

One of Activision’s biggest games is World of Warcraft, which has been exclusive to Windows PC for the past 18 years. This merger could see the franchise come to new platforms.  (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Smith very quickly reiterates the fact that this deal is about Apple and Google ultimately, whose control over the entire mobile market has squeezed innovation and harmed competition with a very steep 30% fee across all app-based business models. Famously, Epic Games has booted off the Apple app store for declining to continue granting Apple 30% of Fortnite revenue, owing to the damage it was doing to their business model. 

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