The tech giant claims the merger “cannot turn a highly competitive industry upside down”

The technology giant Microsoft and the video game developer Activision Blizzard have defended that the purchase of the person in charge of franchises such as ‘Call of Duty’ or ‘World of Warcarft’ by the Xbox manufacturer would not impair competition. The technology giant’s response comes just 15 days after the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a formal lawsuit to block the transaction, valued at 69,000 million dollars (65,756 million euros).

In the rebuttal registered this Friday by Microsoft, the multinational affirms that the acquisition of a single game by the console manufacturer that occupies the second position in the sector “cannot turn a highly competitive industry upside down”, in addition to recalling that “it has made it clear that he will not retain the game.”

“The fact that Xbox’s dominant competitor has so far refused to accept Xbox’s proposal does not justify blocking a transaction that will benefit consumers,” Microsoft has defended, adding that its Xbox game console “is far behind Sony’s”

The multinational has also pointed out that, although Xbox publishes games for consoles and PC, it has far fewer popular exclusive games than Sony and Nintendo, in addition to having almost no presence in the largest and fastest growing mobile gaming segment.

For its part, Activision Blizzard has presented its own rebuttal of the FTC’s allegations to block the purchase of the company by Microsoft, ensuring that said merger will benefit players, employees and competition worldwide.

“The FTC persists in its ideology-driven effort to ignore the law and what decades of experience tell us is good for competition,” the video game company says, adding that the regulator’s assumption rests on the “absolutely unsubstantiated” that, after the purchase is closed, Xbox will withhold or downgrade other platforms’ access to the game ‘Call of Duty’, hurting competitors.

In this sense, the brief presented by Microsoft maintains that it cannot be surprising that after almost a year investigating the transaction, “there is no evidence that Xbox intends to remove ‘Call of Duty’ from PlayStation, or any other platform” and He says the reason is that “Xbox has no intention of taking that step” since it can’t afford to make Activision games exclusive without undermining the basic economic reasons behind the transaction itself.

At the beginning of December, the FTC filed a formal lawsuit in order to block the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft, an operation valued at 69,000 million dollars (65,756 million euros), considering that it could harm competition, since that the manufacturer of Xbox would obtain control of video game franchises such as ‘Call of Duty’ or ‘World of Warcraft’.

In its lawsuit to prevent the largest acquisition in Microsoft’s history, the US regulator recalled Microsoft’s history of acquiring and using valuable game content to suppress competition from rival game consoles, such as after the acquisition of ZeniMax, parent company of Bethesda Softworks. , when the Redmond giant decided to make several of the titles of this video game developer exclusive to Microsoft, despite the guarantees given to the European antitrust authorities.

“Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals,” said Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Office of Competition.

At the beginning of the year, Microsoft reached an agreement to buy the publisher and developer of video games Activision Blizzard for 68,700 million dollars (65,470 million euros), which would transform the company led by Satya Nadella into the third largest in the video game sector. video games worldwide, only behind Tencent and Sony.

In 2020, Microsoft also announced the purchase of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, one of the world’s largest private video game developers and publishers, for $7.5 billion (7.147 billion euros).

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