It looks like nothing is stopping the US Federal Trade Commission and Microsoft from a court date this year. As we push into 2023, there are still some outstanding matters from previous years to settle in the gaming industry, notably the Microsoft and Activsion Blizzard deal. The FTC was the latest to stall the Microsoft acquisition of Activision Blizzard, filing a lawsuit against Microsoft to stop the deal, and it seems no settlements have been reached at this time.
Word on settlement discussions between the FTC and Microsoft were shared via FTC attorneys, as reported by Reuters. Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard remains unsettled due to various fair business and competition authorities around the world scrutinizing the potential power it could give Microsoft in the gaming market. The FTC signaled its intent to challenge the deal following EU scrutiny in late 2022. Since then, FTC attorney James Weingarten engaged in a telephone conference in which he revealed that there had been no ‘substantive’ talks of settlement thus far. As such, Microsoft and the FTC are still headed for a court date in August 2023.
Microsoft has had no lack of issues trying to get its deal with Activision Blizzard through. In addition to the previously mentioned issues with the FTC and European business and competition authorities, Sony has lobbied several complaints over what kind of power the deal would give Microsoft in the gaming space, especially regarding the Call of Duty franchise. Microsoft has made several concessions to attempt to circumvent these concerns, including commitments to keeping the Call of Duty franchise available on PlayStation and even bringing it to Nintendo.
However, it looks like Microsoft still has some hurdles to pass if it hopes to get the Activision Blizzard deal done. The EU is expected to finish its investigation in March 2023 and the FTC court date is in August. Stay tuned as we continue to follow for further updates and details.