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FTC Apparently Split On Microsoft/Activision Decision - Report

An apparent rift at the Federal Trade Commission has emerged around the Microsoft/Activision merger, which may complicate matters further.


Microsoft's blockbuster bid to acquire Activision Blizzard has garnered headlines and scrutiny all around the world. However, according to a new report from the New York Post, a conflict over the deal at the Federal Trade Commission might handicap the panel's ability to intercede.

The report states that FTC Chair Lina Khan is pushing to block the deal if possible, with a Politico report stating last month that a lawsuit against the deal was "likely." In a turnaround, this new report says that at least one Democrat on the four-member panel has become more likely to approve the merger in recent days, which would likely impair any such suit from appearing.

Those three Democrats are Khan, Rebecca Slaughter, and Alvaro Bedoya. Republican Christine Wilson has already indicated her support. The report suggests that Slaughter is the commissioner in question. It also states that a settlement--which would alter the terms of the merger instead of blocking it altogether--may be a more likely outcome at this juncture. A tie would effectively approve the deal.

Though the Microsoft-Activision merger has been legally approved in some countries, including Brazil, US and EU authorities have expressed skepticism of the deal. Exclusivity surrounding key franchises like Call of Duty is one of the main points of contention. A recent Reuters report indicated that Microsoft will likely offer a 10-year COD licensing deal to Sony soon, though no deal has been made as of this writing.

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