Mehul Reuben DasDec 21, 2022 13:39:03 IST
Following the US’ Federal Trade Commission or FTC trying to block Activision Blizzard’s acquisition by Microsoft, a group of 10 gamers in the US have now sued Microsoft to block the merger. The lawsuit was filed in a US federal court and alleged that the acquisition will help Microsoft monopolise the video game industry.
The proposed acquisition would give Microsoft “far-outsized market power in the video game industry,” according to the complaint “with the ability to foreclose rivals, limit output, reduce consumer choice, raise prices, and further inhibit competition.”
Almost two weeks ago, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) raised similar concerns in their complaint. The US business watchdog said Activision was one of a small number of top video game developers that made high-quality games for multiple devices.
Gamers and Microsoft’s competitors allege that if the merger goes through, Microsoft will definitely, stifle competition, and manipulate pricing in such a way that video gamers who would want to enjoy some of the biggest gaming titles will be forced to switch to Microsoft’s services. This move is being seen as both anti-competitive, as well as anti-consumer. Microsoft, will basically do everything it can to position the Xbox over the PlayStation.
Gamers fear that Microsoft, may somehow “break” the games in such a way that they may be virtually unplayable on competitors’ video game consoles, “or withhold content from competitors entirely.
In a statement, plaintiffs’ attorney Joseph Saveri in San Francisco said, “As the video game industry continues to grow and evolve, it’s critical that we protect the market from monopolistic mergers that will harm consumers in the long run.”
When the FTC filed their lawsuit, Microsoft president Brad Smith put out a statement, saying that the company had complete confidence in their case and welcomed the opportunity to present it in court.
To assuage all fears of content being walled behind a particular ecosystem, Microsoft also announced it will make Call of Duty available on Nintendo for 10 years if the purchase went through and made a similar offer to rival Sony which makes the PlayStation console.
The takeover, which was announced in January this year, has been the subject of several lawsuits in the EU and the UK as well.