Back in January, Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard in a deal that was estimated to cost approximately £50billion ($68billion USD) however, the move has faced ongoing criticism from numerous regulatory bodies. Earlier this week, it was reported that The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is “likely to file an antitrust lawsuit” to block the deal.
Back in September, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) voiced concerns that the merger may “harm rivals” and “damage competition” in the gaming industry. Subsequently, the CMA is considering “an in-depth Phase 2 investigation,” following on from a probe it launched this summer.
Overall, 16 regulatory bodies globally have launched investigations into Microsoft’s proposed takeover of Activision Blizzard in order to assess its likely impact on competition, including the European Commission.
However Lulu Cheng Meservey, Activision Blizzard’s chief commercial officer and executive vice president for corporate affairs, has taken to Twitter to defend the deal, saying “any suggestion that the transaction could have anticompetitive effects is absurd.”
We're committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but won't hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if that's needed.
— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) November 24, 2022
“Seeing a lot of speculation about Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard,” she continued. “This merger will benefit gamers and the US gaming industry — especially as we face stiffer competition from abroad.”
Lulu Cheng Meservey added: “We’re committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but won’t hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if that’s needed.”
Earlier this year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he was “very, very confident” that the deal would go ahead.
Sony said over the summer that Xbox’s ownership of Call Of Duty could lead to gamers switching consoles. However, Microsoft made it clear at the beginning of 2022 that it intends to keep the long-running franchise available across different platforms, including PlayStation.