A judge ruled in favor of Microsoft to purchase Activision Blizzard, marking a $69 billion deal that goes down in history.
The journey for Microsoft to officially buy Activision Blizzard has come to an end, as a judge has ruled that Microsoft can move forward with their $68.7 billion deal, deemed the largest in tech business history.
As per the ruling, Microsoft will keep the Call of Duty franchise on Playstation for a decade as well as its own Xbox. The war-centric game series, which was first introduced in 2003, will also make its debut on Nintendo Switch at some point in the future. Microsoft, too, will port over content from Activision’s library to cloud-based gaming services.
In a statement from the judge regarding Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard – which formed in 2008 – she declared that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) did not have a strong enough case regarding Microsoft’s exclusivity to titles such as the Call of Duty franchise. “This Court’s responsibility in this case is narrow. It is to decide if, notwithstanding these current circumstances, the merger should be halted—perhaps even terminated—pending resolution of the FTC administrative action. For the reasons explained, the Court finds the FTC has not shown a likelihood it will prevail on its claim this particular vertical merger in this specific industry may substantially lessen competition. To the contrary, the record evidence points to more consumer access to Call of Duty and other Activision content. The motion for a preliminary injunction is therefore DENIED.”
The FTC can appeal the case until July 14th. In a statement, an FTC spokesperson stated, “We are disappointed in this outcome given the clear threat this merger poses to open competition in cloud gaming, subscription services, and consoles. In the coming days we’ll be announcing our next step to continue our fight to preserve competition and protect consumers.” Microsoft president and vice chair Brad Smith, meanwhile, shared his enthusiasm for the decision over being permitted to purchase Activision, saying the company is “committed to working creatively and collaboratively”:
What are your thoughts on Microsoft officially gaining acquisition of Activision? What does this mean for you as a gamer? What are some of your favorite titles that Microsoft now has control of? Give us your take in the comments section below.