A group of 10 frustrated gamers have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft in attempt to stop the blockbuster Activision Blizzard merger, claiming the x billion deal would give the Xbox creators too much of an edge in the industry.
At the very beginning of the year, Microsoft announced its plans to acquire publishing giant Activision Blizzard for a staggering $70 billion. This move would see all studios under the umbrella, including CoD, Overwatch, and WoW development teams to name a few, all operate under Microsoft moving forward.
Since the deal was made public, Microsoft has been busy in legal dealings trying to push the process along. Given the magnitude of the acquisition, regulatory bodies around the globe must approve the transaction before it can go ahead. As a result, we’ve seen rivals like Sony creating roadblocks where possible to delay the deal. Amid the back and forth, another party has now entered the legal battle.
A group of 10 gamers spread across California, New Mexico, and New Jersey filed a private consumer lawsuit on December 20, claiming Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard would tip the scales in their favor and limit competition in the region.
Namely, with best-selling franchises like the Call of Duty series factored into the deal, the players expressed concern over Microsoft’s “market power” should they control the publisher. Eyebrows were raised over the possibility to “foreclose rivals, limit output, reduce consumer choice, raise prices, and further inhibit competition.”
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Swiftly responding to the latest lawsuit in their pile, a Microsoft representative told Reuters that the opposite is true and that the deal will “expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers.”
While this group of avid gamers clearly opposes the deal, elsewhere in the world we see gaming crowds all but favoring the move. Take, for instance, a recent public survey from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, as first reported by IGN. More than 2,100 emails were sent through, with roughly 75% of said emails backing the merger.
Clearly, there’s a great divide between fanbases, regions, and consumers all over. We’ll be sure to keep our eyes peeled and update you here as the situation develops.