Tussling Between a Needed Intervention and a Possibly False Alarm

For a species so smart, human beings actually have a pretty dismal record at not making mistakes. This particular dynamic has been reinforced quite a few times throughout our journey, with each testimony practically forcing us to look for a defensive cover. We will, however, go on solve our conundrum in the most fitting fashion, and we’ll do so by bringing dedicated regulatory bodies into the fold. Having a well-defined authority across each and every area was a game-changer, as it instantly concealed our many shortcomings. Now, the kind of utopia one would expect from such a development did arrive, but it notably failed to stick around for long. Talk about what caused the stated setback, the answer has to include technology before anything else. We say that because the moment technology got its layered nature to take over the scene, it awarded every individual an unprecedented chance to exploit others for their own benefit. In case this didn’t sound devastating enough, the whole runner soon began to materialize on such a massive scale that it expectantly overwhelmed our governing forces and sent them back to square one. After a lengthy spell in the wilderness, though, it seems like the regulatory contingent is finally ready to make a meaningful comeback. The same has turned more and more evident over the recent past, and FTC’s latest plan will solidify its traces moving forward.

According to report from the Politico, the US Federal Trade Commission is actively thinking about filing an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of gaming giant, Activision Blizzard. To give you a bit of recap, it was back in January 2022 when the Xbox maker announced that it has agreed a deal to acquire Activision Blizzard in what stood out as the biggest deal our gaming industry has ever seen. However, the deal didn’t grab attention just because of the figure attached to it, but also duo to the serious ripple effects that it promised to create. You see, the stated takeover would give Microsoft complete access to various blockbuster games like Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and many more, therefore putting its competitors at a major disadvantage. Now, while competitors here can mean many different companies, the larger dissent, unsurprisingly, comes from Sony, a company that has been in a dogfight with Microsoft for a long time now. In fact, Sony, more recently, even claimed that Microsoft’s master plan was getting everybody to move over to Xbox before jacking up prices.

Nevertheless, when asked about Politico’s report, Joe Christinat, a spokesperson for Activision Blizzard, reiterated the company’s assurance that deal was, in no way, anti-competitive. As a result, the gaming behemoth has shared its intention to fight, if a lawsuit is actually formalized.

“We are committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but won’t hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if required,” said Christinat. “Any suggestion that the transaction could lead to anticompetitive effects is completely absurd. This merger will benefit gamers and the U.S. gaming industry, especially as we face increasingly stiff competition from abroad.”

For now, a legal action remains quite possible, but FTC would need to complete some necessary steps, including a vote from its commissioners, before that happens.

GRC pic credits:  SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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