Xbox acquisition of Activision Blizzard under fire from FTC - but Microsoft fights back!
Microsoft president defends Xbox's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, citing Sony's dominant position in gaming market
In a recent annual shareholders meeting, Microsoft president Brad Smith spoke out in defense of Xbox's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Smith cited Sony's dominant position in the gaming market as a reason why the $68.7 billion deal should go through, despite the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) seeking to block it.
"The FTC's case is really based on a market that they've identified that they say has two companies and two products: Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox," Smith said. "But if you look at the global market, Sony has 70% of that market, and we have 30%. So the first thing a judge is going to have to decide is whether the FTC lawsuit is a case that will promote competition or is it really instead of a case that will protect the largest competitor from competition."
But that's not all! Smith also pointed out that PlayStation has 286 exclusive games, while Xbox only has 59. "So the administrative law judge is going to have to decide whether going from 59 to 60 is such a danger to competition that he should stop this from moving forward," Smith said with a sly grin.
The FTC, which announced its intentions to block the acquisition on December 8, said at the time that Xbox would "gain control of top video game franchises" and therefore "harm competition in high-performance gaming consoles and subscriptions services by denying or degrading rivals’ access to its popular content."
But Xbox isn't backing down without a fight. "We're confident that when it comes down to it, the judge will see that this acquisition is not only fair, but will ultimately benefit gamers everywhere," said a spokesperson for Xbox.
The FTC isn't the only government body raising concern of the deal either, as both the European Commission and the UK's Competitions and Market Authority have launched investigations. But Xbox remains optimistic. "Bring it on," said the spokesperson with a wink. "We're ready to game on and show everyone why this acquisition is a win-win for everyone involved."