The hearing over the most expensive merger in video game publishers has ended. Now that the five-day trial has concluded, a federal judge will decide if the Federal Trade Commission blocks Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard after a five-day trial.
Federal antitrust enforcers have sued to block the $69 billion acquisition on the grounds that Microsoft may gain a monopoly in the cloud gaming industry that can prove harmful to its competitors like Sony and Nintendo. Much of the decision rests on the Activision blockbuster franchise, Call of Duty, since Microsoft's business decisions can affect how it is distributed to gamers.
The Microsoft V FTC Trial Could Go Either Way
FTC v. Microsoft is over. Judge Corley will now make her decision in the coming days and file it under seal pic.twitter.com/4CxH4LhbJC— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 30, 2023
The trial, which started last Thursday, included testimonies from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Activision (ATVI) CEO Bobby Kotick. Recently, the FTC filed for a preliminary injunction to block the acquisition of Activision (ATVI) over fears that Microsoft may try to close the purchase even though the FTC had originally challenged it in December. It's important to note that the deal has a July 18 termination date, where the parties can walk away, extend, or renegotiate the deal.
Talking about Call of Duty on Thursday, Judge Corley said
"All of this is for a shooter video game. We're concerned about the competition for this one shooter video game.''
On Wednesday, Microsoft's Satya Nadella attempted to quell the FTC's argument that the software giant would try to limit Activision's (ATVI) content to its own Xbox platform, hence depriving its rivals.
During the trial, Microsoft’s lawyer tried to correct the FTC and made an error when he referred to a game as Elder Scrolls 16 when he probably wanted to say Elder Scrolls 6. Digital editor Tom Warren pointed out this hilarious moment on Twitter.
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JJ is a writer for the Gaming section at Gossip.GG and brings multiple years of experience covering the gaming beat.