The news: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed to stop Microsoft from buying Activision Blizzard, saying the $68.7 billion blockbuster deal would suppress competition.
Curbing a gaming monopoly: The FTC issued a complaint Thursday seeking to block the acquisition, saying the deal “would enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.”
What this means for the FTC: After a year of anemic regulatory activity, the FTC under chairperson Lina Khan is looking for its first decisive win, and Microsoft’s deal could be its white whale.
What this means for Microsoft: If approved, the merger gives Microsoft a leadership position with some of the most popular franchises, including Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch, among others.
Key takeaway: Microsoft could appear magnanimous and make games available on other platforms while the ink dries, but there’s no guarantee it won’t revert to anticompetitive behavior through Xbox and PC exclusives over rival consoles.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Connectivity & Tech Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the technology industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.
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