The hearings from both sides on the ongoing Activision Blizzard merger have recently concluded. The hearings saw plenty of heated arguments from both sides, but the outcome may end up in Microsoft’s favor.
While both parties made solid arguments, a new report from IGN claims that experts believe the FTC will not be able to win the case.
Why it matters: The Activision Blizzard acquisition costs $68.7 billion, marking the biggest merger for the gaming industry. This has led to very high stakes for all the parties involved in the matter.
Florian Ederer from the Yale School of Management believes the FTC is fighting a losing battle. He said:
“Most people expect the FTC not to be successful here.”
The report further highlights that other analysts and experts share this opinion. While an upset cannot be ruled out, it appears that Microsoft has made the more convincing arguments for the case.
Throughout the case, the FTC has expressed concern about exclusivity for Call of Duty. The regulator has also revealed internal documents highlighting Microsoft’s plans to make all future Bethesda games exclusive to Xbox.
However, Call of Duty’s unique position in the market means that Xbox is likely to keep it available on all platforms. The gaming giant has also offered a decade-long agreement for Sony, but this has not convinced the regulators and opposition.
While the tide appears to be turning for Microsoft, a favorable decision will not be the end of the current situation. If Microsoft wins, the FTC would have the option to appeal the decision.
This would be similar to Microsoft’s appeal against the CMA after the UK regulator blocked the merger due to concerns about the cloud gaming market.
Microosft hopes to close the deal by July 18, and a favorable decision against the FTC would be a massive step forward for the gaming giant.
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