Activision: We will fight to merge Xbox and Microsoft if necessary

Yesterday, Politico broke a mysterious (and little clicked) story that claimed four anonymous sources within the Federal Trade Commission raised the possibility that the major US regulator would sue to block the deal between Microsoft and Activision. In fact, Microsoft is trying to spend $69 billion to get Call of Duty, Candy Crush and Warcraft under its umbrella, hoping to boost Xbox Game Pass in the fight against Apple and Google’s mobile gaming monopoly. Sony, along with its PlayStation division, vehemently opposed the deal, as you might expect, despite Microsoft’s guarantee that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation “as long as PlayStation exists.”

According to some onlookers like industry analyst Michael Pachter, the FTC’s case against the deal is an attempt to win written concessions from Microsoft without having to take the deal to court — something Pachter expects will be bad for the FTC. In fact, there’s little to no precedent for this kind of deal, and when you examine the gaming industry properly, it’s among the most competitive and vibrant industries out there, with the exception of Google and Apple’s control of mobile app stores (a de facto monopoly for a company the FTC should investigate).

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