The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 gives Americans the right to sue companies for anti-competitive behavior, a fact that 10 self-named players are using to take Microsoft to court to stop its acquisition of Activision.
As he states Bloomberg Lawcomplaint filed today and received by my citystates that the plaintiffs, or “video game players” as they are described, fear that “ [Microsoft and Activision] the merger may substantially reduce competition or may lead to the creation of a monopoly; that merger, the complaint states, would specifically violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act, which states that acquisitions that restrict competition are prohibited under US antitrust law. The complaint cites not only the scale and scope of the Activision-Microsoft merger as problematic, but also that this latest proposed merger follows a number of other Microsoft acquisitions, from the 2014 purchase of Mojang to the 2002 acquisition of Rare.
A thorough breakdown of console, PC, and AAA games, as well as subscription services as “relevant product markets,” highlights just how many major franchises will fall under Microsoft’s corporate umbrella if the merger goes through. Call of Duty, World of War, Minecraft, Fate, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Haloand The Elder Scrolls are just some of the examples given. He claims that currently Microsoft and Activision compete directly through these titles and services such as Battle.net, the Microsoft Store and Game Pass. A merger would break this competitive dynamic.
If the merger were to go through, the suit claims, Microsoft would have “excessive market power and the ability to foreclose key inputs to competitors and further harm competition.” The lawsuit mentions competition, even as it relates to sales to consumers, as well as competition in the industry to “hire and retain talent within the dedicated video game workforce” that would be “diminished” by the merger.
my city Microsoft asked for comment.
The proposed MIcrosoft / Activision merger has been a lightning rod for controversy since it was first announced. Perhaps most troubling for Microsoft is the recent lawsuit filed by the FTC. The feds say the merger, if it goes through, would seriously harm competition in the video game industry, citing Microsoft’s past behavior of favoring Xbox and Windows PCs as platforms for its games. Microsoft disagreed, saying that an Activision acquisition would “bring Call of Duty for more players and more platforms than ever before.”
Speaking of Call of DutyResponding to criticism of its proposed merger with Activision, Microsoft pledged to continue to deliver Call of Duty to other platforms for at least 10 years. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer categorized criticism of Sony’s acquisition as an attempt to “protect its console dominance” and that it was trying to grow by “shrinking the Xbox”.
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