Headline RoundupDecember 9th, 2022

FTC Files Antitrust Lawsuit to Stop Microsoft From Acquiring Activision

AllSides Summary

The Federal Trade Commission sued Microsoft on Thursday to stop the tech giant’s acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard. 

Key Quotes: In a statement, the FTC said, “With control over Activision’s blockbuster franchises, Microsoft would have both the means and motive to harm competition by manipulating Activision’s pricing, degrading Activision’s game quality or player experience on rival consoles and gaming services, changing the terms and timing of access to Activision’s content, or withholding content from competitors entirely, resulting in harm to consumers.” Meanwhile, Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith said, “We have been committed since Day One to addressing competition concerns, including by offering earlier this week proposed concessions to the FTC. While we believe in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present it in court.”

For Context: The lawsuit against the $68.7 billion deal comes after years of anticipation of antitrust action against Big Tech — partly fueled by FTC Chair Lina Khan, an outspoken critic of Amazon. Microsoft’s Xbox console is a major player in the increasingly popular video game industry, and some future games developed by other Microsoft-owned studios are expected to be made exclusive to its platform. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was widespread across the spectrum, particularly in business outlets, which tend to be rated Lean Left or Center. Some coverage described the lawsuit as “aggressive” or a “landmark battle.”

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