A group of ten gamers scattered across the country is suing Microsoft to stop the Activision-Blizzard acquisition.
Ars Technica reports that the gamers’ lawsuit “echo[es] many of the FTC’s concerns.” Those include reducing the competition in the gaming market, consumer choice, and raising prices.
The last point we’re not so sure about. Xbox has been putting every game from its studios onto Game Pass as part of a monthly subscription fee.
Even if you want to purchase the games outright, most Xbox releases are still $60. PlayStation 5 titles are $70 at launch.
Ars uploaded a copy of the complaint, and we immediately found it striking that eight of the ten gamers in the lawsuit play on PlayStation, and only two say they own an Xbox.
Are Sony stans worried about losing access to Call of Duty?
Why is Microsoft the only one getting sued?
While Microsoft purchasing Activision-Blizzard would be the biggest gaming merger in history, it’s simply the latest link in a long chain.
The gaming industry is full of developer acquisitions, including the ones Activision made to get its market position.
CEO Bobby Kotick took control in 1990 and built Activision’s developer portfolio.
The first significant purchase was Raven Software, developer of Heretic and Hexen: Beyond Heretic.
Then came the two studios that made most of the Call of Duty series, Treyarch Invention and then Infinity Ward.
Activision then merged with Blizzard without any outcry about becoming one of the biggest game companies.
Nobody blinked when the merged companies bought King Digital in 2016 for $5.9 billion.
Sony has also been on a buying spree, with more studio acquisitions planned. Isn’t that what Microsoft is doing by buying Activision-Blizzard? Sony tried and failed to do the same.
The other thing is that many Sony studios only make games for PlayStation. So far, Microsoft’s purchases are still making multiplatform titles.
This probably won’t be the last lawsuit
The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 allows any American to file a lawsuit against a company they believe is engaging in anticompetitive behavior.
Even if this lawsuit against Microsoft fails, any American citizen could potentially bring their own suit against the company.
It’s possible that this merger could be tied up in court for years, which could potentially benefit Sony as it would be able to continue to grow and release first-party exclusives uninterrupted.
As for this specific lawsuit, it’s now awaiting its day in court.
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