Microsoft drops aggressive claim against US FTC in Activision Blizzard case
Microsoft has removed an aggressive argument against the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) it made last month, as the agency sued the tech giant for acquiring leading video game developer Activision Blizzard, the media reported.
San Francisco, Jan 6 Microsoft has removed an aggressive argument against the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) it made last month, as the agency sued the tech giant for acquiring leading video game developer Activision Blizzard, the media reported.
According to Axios, Microsoft said it made a "mistake" when it claimed that the "very structure of FTC violates the United States Constitution."
A Microsoft spokesperson said that the "FTC has an important mission to protect competition and consumers, and we quickly updated our response to omit language suggesting otherwise based on the constitution."
"We initially put all potential arguments on the table internally and should have dropped these defences before we filed," the spokesperson was quoted as saying in the report that came out late on Thursday.
In its lawsuit, the FTC said that the deal, the largest ever in the video gaming industry, would enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business.
"Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals. Today we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets," Holly Vedova, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, had said in a statement.
Microsoft President Brad Smith said they have been committed since "Day One to addressing competition concerns, including by offering earlier this week proposed concessions to the FTC."
"While we believe in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present it in court," Smith had tweeted.
The Microsoft President added that the company continues to believe that "our deal to acquire Activision Blizzard will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers."
In September, the U.K. market watchdog announced an in-depth probe into Microsoft's all-cash deal to acquire gaming giant Activision Blizzard, if its concerns over antitrust practices are not met.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that it is concerned that Microsoft's anticipated purchase of Activision Blizzard "could substantially lessen competition in gaming consoles, multi-game subscription services, and cloud gaming services (game streaming)."