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Microsoft Admits Mistake, Removes Inflammatory FTC Lawsuit Claim

Microsoft has refiled its response to the FTC case, removing aggressive arguments about the commission's constitutionality.


Microsoft has removed claims that the Federal Trade Commission violates the US Constitution and admits that it made a mistake.

According to a report from Axios, the new filing still holds to the previous version's central argument--that Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard would not stifle competition. However, a five bullet-point section claiming that the FTC's structure and in-house administrative court violates the Constitution, the separation of powers, as well as the due process clause of the fifth Amendment, has been removed.

A Microsoft representative told Axios that, "The FTC has an important mission to protect competition and consumers, and we quickly updated our response to omit language suggesting otherwise based on the constitution. We initially put all potential arguments on the table internally and should have dropped these defenses before we filed. We appreciated feedback about these defenses and are engaging directly with those who expressed concerns to make our position clear."

Activision also dropped the same allegations in its response to the case. In November, the Supreme Court heard a separate case that suggested the FTC violates the Constitution--no ruling has been released as of yet.

The FTC sued Microsoft in December 2022 in an attempt to block their acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The first pre-trial hearing took place on January 3. The trial itself is scheduled to start in August 2023. Microsoft has yet to have any substantive settlement discussions with the FTC. Such discussion are inevitable, as it would prefer to settle the case before it goes to trial.

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