Microsoft Gets Permission To Acquire Activision Blizzard, Despite Lawsuit
In a recent legal setback for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a federal judge in California refused to block Microsoft’s $69 billion deal to acquire video-game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc.
This is another blow to FTC Chair Lina Khan’s efforts to rein in tech giants based on her antitrust philosophy.
The FTC argued that the deal would give Microsoft an unfair advantage in the console and cloud-gaming wars, but the judge disagreed, stating that consumers would have more access to Activision games than ever before.
While the deal still faces opposition from UK regulators, they are now open to hearing proposals from Microsoft on how to make the deal work.
In 2021, President Joe Biden appointed Lina Khan as the head of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with the goal of cracking down on big tech companies.
Khan believes that regulators made a mistake a decade ago by allowing Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, which has contributed to the company’s massive growth.
However, it is difficult to argue that these corporate moves are illegal without new antitrust statutes from Congress.
Khan’s FTC will likely face challenges in court unless they can convince judges that seemingly harmless moves today could lead to significant competitive advantages in the future.
Khan’s next big lawsuit is expected to target Amazon’s core retail and logistics operation, arguing that the company uses its integration to harm third-party vendors.
Unlike other cases, the dominance of Amazon in the retail industry is evident today, making it easier to present real-world data to support the argument.
However, Amazon will likely focus on traditional measures of anti-competitive behavior, such as lower consumer prices and convenience for online shoppers.