Activision Layoffs Already Planned Before Buyout, Says Microsoft

Microsoft Defends Itself After 1,900 Layoffs Last Month!

Story Highlights
  • Yesterday, the FTC filed a case against Microsoft for not fulfilling its promises.
  • In response, Microsoft stated that FTC can not blame it for the layoffs.
  • Microsoft clarified that Activision Blizzard already intended to lay off many workers before the merger.

It was recently reported that Microsoft laid off around 1,900 employees, and most of the impacted developers were from Activision Blizzard.

Following this news, the FTC filed a complaint against Microsoft for not fulfilling its promises of independence for Activision Blizzard. However, Microsoft has responded to the FTC, claiming that Activision already planned such layoffs before the merger.

Why it matters: Many believed that the recent layoffs were a direct result of Microsoft’s acquisition. They expected the company to be downsizing after the recent addition to Xbox.

A new court filing has been released on the internet today, just a day after it was reported that the FTC filed a case against Microsoft.

In this new court file, Microsoft defends its action of laying off workers from Activision Blizzard, citing the publisher’s aims of pursuing similar actions before the acquisition. It stated:

“Activision was already planning on eliminating a significant number of jobs.”

Microsoft further claims that the statements provided by FTC are misleading and incomplete. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft is to be blamed for the layoffs that happened recently at Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft Activision Blizzard Acquisition
Microsoft Bought Activision Blizzard In 2023

Amid the recent layoffs all around the industry, we don’t find Microsoft’s statement hard to believe. It was recently reported that over 2700 layoffs were already confirmed in the first two weeks of 2024.

The trend did not stop there as Embracer Group recently added to the count, laying off developers from Eidos Montreal after canceling the upcoming Deus Ex game. All these layoffs show that Microsoft is far from the only one going through a rough phase.

Activision Blizzard has historically struggled to provide its employees with the best working conditions. In the past, the publisher has faced controversies, allegations, and other challenges.

Therefore, we would not be surprised if the higher-ups planned to cut hundreds or thousands of jobs to ensure the future of the publisher. Still, it remains to be seen if the FTC will continue to chase after Microsoft in this instance.

The regulator has historically been against this merger, so it rarely wastes an opportunity to criticize Microsoft. 

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