Microsoft walks back its 'unconstitutional' accusations against FTC

Microsoft notes it may have made a mistake in claiming the structure of the Federal Trade Commission to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution.


After making a few spicy statements about the structure of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last month, including one stating the FTC and its court system were in violation of Articles II and III of the U.S. Constitution, Microsoft is now walking things back. More specifically, Microsoft has filed a new, amended version of its response to the FTC and its attempt to block the $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

As reported by outlets like Axios, Microsoft’s amended argument retains the same assertions that its acquisition of Activision Blizzard won’t unfairly stifle competition with other game makers. However, the part where it took a few digs at the FTC has since been removed.

“Microsoft's new filing still argues that its purchase of the creator of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush would not unfairly stifle competition with other game makers. But it no longer includes a five-bullet-point salvo claiming that the FTC’s structure and in-house administrative court, where the Activision case is being heard, run afoul of the Constitution, the separation of powers and the due process clause of the 5th Amendment,” Axios reports.

Microsoft logo on large sign outside glass building
© Reuters

Similarly, Activision is also pulling back similar allegations against the FTC which it included in its response to last month’s lawsuit. Speaking with Axios, the public affairs spokesperson for Microsoft, David Cuddy, shared kinder words about the FTC along with appreciation in regards to feedback on the matter.

“The FTC has an important mission to protect competition and consumers, and we quickly updated our response to omit language suggesting otherwise based on the constitution,” Microsoft public affairs spokesperson David Cuddy told Axios.

“We initially put all potential arguments on the table internally and should have dropped these defenses before we filed. We appreciated feedback about these defenses and are engaging directly with those who expressed concerns to make our position clear.”

Activision Blizzard logo on a light blue background
© Activision Blizzard

Moving forward, the FTC case to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard will continue throughout 2023 with a trail set to take place later this August. For more on Microsoft’s newly amended response to the FTC, be sure to read through the full report from Axios.

Also check out some of our previous coverage including how FTC lawyers assert that the FTC and Microsoft have had no “substantive” settlement talks over Activision Blizzard deal, and how the EU commission is also investigating Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Senior Editor

Morgan is a writer from the frozen wastelands of Maine who enjoys metal music, kpop, horror, and indie games. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver.

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