WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday issued a preliminary injunction in federal court temporarily blocking Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) acquisition of video game maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O). asked.
“Upon completion of this transaction, the combined company … will likely have the ability and incentives to deter competition in various markets related to consoles, subscription services and (gaming) clouds,” FTC attorneys said. said James Weingarten of The government’s opening arguments on the first day of the five-day evidence hearing.
FTC argues that blocking Microsoft’s $69 billion merger with Activision Blizzard will require a judge until the FTC’s internal court decides whether the merger would hurt competition in the video game industry. are doing.
The FTC said the merger would give Microsoft’s Xbox video game console exclusive access to Activision’s games, putting Nintendo’s (7974.T) consoles and Sony Group’s (6758.T) PlayStation in a pinch. says it would.
“I think you can see that all the evidence points to that it makes sense for Xbox to make these Activision games available to as many people as possible on as many platforms as possible,” said Microsoft attorney Beth. Wilkinson said in his opening argument that if the injunction is granted, it could impose three years of administrative proceedings and void the deal.
Testifying Friday will include Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, Microsoft Senior Director of Finance Jamie Rouber, the former director of product management at the now-shutdown Google (GOOGL.O), owner of cloud gaming service Stadia. Dov Zimling and Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. By video deposit.
The settlement of the US lawsuit is one of several significant antitrust battles that Microsoft and Activision have fought around the world to close the deal. Microsoft’s offer to buy the “Call of Duty” video game maker was approved by the European Union in May, but UK competition authorities blocked the deal in April.
The FTC said the deal is the largest for Microsoft and the largest in the history of the video game business, giving Microsoft “the ability and incentive to withhold or degrade Activision content in a manner that substantially reduces competition.” It will increase,” he argued.
Microsoft said the deal would benefit gamers and game companies alike, and offered to sign a binding consent decree with the FTC to offer Call of Duty games to rivals for 10 years.
Hearings are scheduled to run until June 29, with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick joining as witnesses next week.
Reporting in Washington by David Shepherdson and Chris Sanders.Editing: Leslie Adler, Mark Porter, Matthew Lewis, Sonali Paul
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