Microsoft sued by video gamers in the US over Activision acquisition

Image Credit: Microsoft

A group of 10 video gamers in California, New Mexico and New Jersey has filed a private consumer lawsuit against Microsoft seeking an order blocking its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, as reported by Reuters.

Filed in a U.S. court this Tuesday, the private lawsuit alleges that, if the acquisition goes through, ‘’the video game industry may lose substantial competition, and Microsoft may have far-outsized market power, with the ability to foreclose rivals, limit output, reduce consumer choice, raise prices, and further inhibit competition.’’

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,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Joseph Saveri in a statement.

Following the complaint, a spokesperson for Microsoft defended the acquisition, saying, “This deal will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers as we seek to bring more games to more people.” 

The news comes nearly two weeks after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Microsoft to block its Activision acquisition, saying it would ‘’enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.’’

After the announcement, Microsoft’s President Brad Smith said, ‘’We continue to believe that our deal to acquire Activision Blizzard will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers.’’

The acquisition, which would be the largest acquisition ever in the gaming industry if it goes through, is also facing antitrust probes in the UK and the European Union. Meanwhile, it has been approved by Saudi Arabia and Brazil.

Written by Maya Robertson


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