VGC has reportedly received a forward to a letter from Microsoft in response to the FTC claims. According to the report, Microsoft is defending its actions by stating Activision was planning to remove several jobs before the merger, as is the trend for other companies within the industry.
It was massive news when Microsoft announced plans to bid for Activision Blizzard. This nearly $69 billion investment was not smooth sailing. Microsoft had to deal with several regulators to ensure they got the purchase through. This caused plenty of court battles and even contracts to appease regulators that Call of Duty, the biggest franchise from this acquisition, would remain on competitor platforms. This deal had gone through, and Microsoft had successfully acquired the company, but today, we’re finding out that the FTC has submitted a notice to the appeals court pointing out the recent layoffs under Microsoft as problematic.
The Federal Trade Commission has not been for this merger to go through. It was one of the last battles for Microsoft, and while the FTC initially failed to stop this acquisition, it hasn’t prevented them from appealing this decision. According to the FTC, Microsoft might have Activision Blizzard under their banner, but the recent layoffs are evidence that Microsoft is already going against their word. Thanks to CharlieIntel, we’re finding out that the FTC submitted an appeal notice stating that Microsoft’s plan to eliminate 1,900 jobs in their video game division shows that Microsoft contradicts the representations it made to the court initially.
Essentially, it looks like the FTC is pointing out that eliminating these jobs from Activision Blizzard offices contradicts Microsoft, suggesting that the companies will operate independently post-merger. However, now that these jobs are slashed from Microsoft, it could be harder to successfully pull Activision Blizzard away from Microsoft. So, it does look like a mess, but we’ll have to wait and see what comes from this appeal request.
Meanwhile, we’re also waiting to see just what comes to fruition for Microsoft. Lately, there have been several concerning reports online suggesting exclusives would be coming to the rival PlayStation 5 platform. These reports flooded the web to the point that the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, unveiled a business update that would be happening next week to clear the air on the future of Xbox. So next week, we’ll get a better idea of the outlook of Xbox or the new strategic plans to compete against Nintendo and Sony.