The FTC’s Injunction Against Microsoft is Officially Denied
Microsoft’s battle has been hard-fought, involving court rulings on a global scale. Though the FTC mainly cares for the United States, it still represents a powerful body that stood against Microsoft’s purchase of a massive player in the games industry: Activision Blizzard.
In a five-day, no-holds-barred legal injunction, a judge has denied the FTC’s desire to impede Microsoft’s purchase of Activision-Blizzard. From the looks of things, commentators attribute the FTC’s loss to one simple factor: incompetence.
It’s not like the FTC completely lacked ground to stand on. The size of this purchase would give Microsoft huge control over the games market, and other big names like Sony have been keeping a very close ear to the ground on this one, occasionally moving to obstruct things themselves where possible. Yet the juggernaut that is Microsoft moves ever forward.
The FTC’s tactic here was to refine their arguments on a single point: Call of Duty. The franchise is easily among the biggest in the industry, one that benefits every console it finds home on. The FTC, and Sony, argued that Microsoft would gain the ability to poach the entire Call of Duty playerbase, simply by making the franchise an Xbox-exclusive. A strong argument to be sure – with only one problem.
As any forum discussing this trial will tell you, anti-monopolization policies (like the one the FTC built itself on) falls under this little category called consumer protection. The judge focused hearing how Microsoft’s purchase would hurt consumers. Sony’s not one of those.
Those discussing the trial are both frustrated and concerned in equal measure. Common folk who view the deal favorably are few and far between, with their opposition louder than ever. And all those involved are seriously dissapointed with the FTC’s performance.
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