While the United States government’s Federal Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as the FTC) has approved employee participation in settlement negotiations with Microsoft regarding its ongoing effort to purchase Activision Blizzard, “there are no substantive discussions ‘between the parties’ at this time.”
This comes from FTC attorney James Weingarten, who participated in a pretrial hearing on Tuesday to argue Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard For $ 69 billion, he broke the record.
Back in December, the FTC revealed its intent Prevent Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzardclaiming that if the deal were allowed to go ahead, it would enable the company to suppress its competition in the gaming industry.
“Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming competitors,” Holly Vidova, the FTC’s director of competition for the office, stated at the time, while also noting Microsoft’s previous acquisition of ZeniMax.
Here, the FTC addressed Microsoft’s previous decision to make games from its subsidiaries — namely Starfield and Redfall — exclusive to Microsoft hardware, despite previously stressing to European regulators that there was no incentive to block games from competing consoles.
“We seek to prevent Microsoft from taking control of a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in dynamic and fast-growing game markets,” Fedova’s statement continued.
However, Microsoft has refuted the FTC’s claims that this acquisition would be anti-competitive. Indeed, in its response to the suit, the The platform holder called the move unconstitutional by the Federal Trade Commissionstating that it specifically violated the Fifth Amendment right to due process.
Therefore, it is still a waiting game to see if the two parties can come to some kind of agreement before taking the case to court. And according to Weingarten, the agency has no plans “at this time” to make that happen.
FTC attorney James Weingarten said the agency has no plans “at this time” to file in federal court. The FTC has allowed employees to participate in settlement talks but “there are no substantive discussions at this time.”
– Leah AntiTrustButVer1fy Nylen (leah_nylen) January 3, 2023
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