Two weeks ago, after much hoo hah, the Federal Trade Commission launched a lawsuit with the aim of blocking Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Yesterday, a bunch of CoD players did the same.
The private consumer complaint from the 10 #gamers claims the deal would give Microsoft “far-outsized market power in the video game industry”. Power to ’em. Power to the gamers.
Their arguments are much the same as the FTC’s. “Microsoft already controls one of the industry’s most popular and largest video game ecosystems,” the suit claims, while “the proposed acquisition would give Microsoft an unrivaled position in the gaming industry, leaving it with the greatest number of must-have games and iconic franchises.”
They say the acquisition would give Microsoft “the ability to foreclose rivals, limit output, reduce consumer choice, raise prices, and further inhibit competition”.
Just like the FTC, one of their strongest arguments is that Microsoft could refuse to ship CoD on Playstation, and thus “competition could significantly be harmed”. They acknowledge Microsoft have made public promises to not do that, but say “their past history implies these promises are illusory”. They also point to the possibility of Microsoft refusing to make games for Mac.
I’m in absolutely no position to judge how likely either lawsuit is to succeed, but I do get a kick out of seeing the ten plaintiffs listed as video game players along with their consoles and games of choice in a fancy schmancy court document. You can pick over it yourself hereif you like.
As ever, here’s Alice Bee’s piece on why further consolidation in the games industry is not a thing you should want.