Ten self-proclaimed gamers have filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court to block Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard. The lawsuit, citing the Clayton Antitrust Act, alleges that the 10 plaintiffs will suffer “imminent loss or damage” from the deal. The complaint goes on to say that the new company will “significantly reduce competition” and “could tend to create a monopoly in several markets.”
While it’s unclear how this lawsuit could proceed, it represents yet another roadblock in the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard saga. The deal, which would become one of the biggest in video game history, has been fraught with controversy from the start, with Microsoft offering Sony a 10-year license deal to keep the highly lucrative Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation platforms.
More recently, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit to block the deal, citing concerns that it would hurt competition in the video game industry. Earlier reporting from the New York Post indicated that the FTC is largely divided on whether or not to prosecute such cases against major tech companies in gaming and otherwise, but it seems the trusting party is winning lately.
The FTC has announced that Epic Games will pay more than $500 million as part of a settlement to resolve alleged COPPA violations, among other alleged unethical business practices. It’s unclear exactly what this climate means for the long-term viability of the Microsoft-ATVI deal, but some pundits have already advised Microsoft to pull out of the deal for its own sake — a path Microsoft has outright rejected.
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