Activision Blizzard criticizes the FTC in response to lawsuit, while the EU surveys Microsoft’s competitors

Robert Collins

In its official response to the FTC’s lawsuit to block Microsoft’s purchase and merger with Activision Blizzard, the latter has offered some rather pointed criticism of the FTC.

Specifically, Activision Blizzard’s official statement at point says that “The FTC has not only lost sight of the realities of the intensely competitive gaming industry, but also the guiding principles of our nation’s antitrust laws.”

Activision Blizzard’s criticism of the FTC continues,

The FTC’s disregard for these benefits to consumers and focus on supposed harms to
Xbox’s deep-pocketed competitors betrays a fundamental disconnect between the FTC’s theories and the antitrust laws’ underlying purpose, which is to protect competition, not competitors. The FTC is asking this Court to protect the world’s largest gaming companies from further competition from Xbox, and thereby turning antitrust on its head. 

Needless to say, the gaming giant’s response is decidedly harsher than Microsoft’s own response to the FTC lawsuit. And in other news related to the Activision Blizzard deal, European Commission regulators have sent a 91-page survey to Microsoft’s gaming competitors, as reported by Reuters.

The questionnaire included items such as, “Please specify which partial exclusivity strategy or strategies you believe Microsoft would have the ability to deploy with respect to Activision Blizzard’s console games after Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.”

The report doesn’t specify what entities were among the recipients of the questionnaire, only stating that among likely recipients were “gaming companies, including console providers, game publishers, developers and distributors and providers of PC operating systems.”

The European Commission is currently conducting a full review of the pending Activision Blizzard merger, which is set to conclude in March 2023.

Via Pure Xbox.