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Microsoft's Buyout Of Activision Is "A Threat To Competition," FTC Says As Deal Closes

The US government is not giving up its fight.


Microsoft has officially closed its $68.7 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard, but the US government is still fighting the deal and is calling it "a threat to competition."

The Federal Trade Commission previously sued Microsoft to try to block the deal, but a judge agreed with Microsoft. The FTC is appealing the decision on a federal level following an earlier appeal denial, and that continues to be the organization's focus.

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"We remain focused on the federal appeal process despite Microsoft and Activision closing their deal in advance of a scheduled December appeals court hearing," a spokesperson told Deadline.

The FTC said Microsoft's deal with Ubisoft to sell its cloud gaming rights "presents a whole new fact to the merger" that could affect American consumers. The FTC spokesperson said it will assess this as part of its ongoing appeals process.

"The FTC continues to believe this deal is a threat to competition," the group said.

Microsoft sold the cloud gaming rights to Activision Blizzard games to Ubisoft to help convince regulators in the UK to clear the deal. As part of this agreement, Ubisoft gets the rights to existing Activision Blizzard games and all future games in the next 15 years in perpetuity.

Microsoft was always expected to go forward with closing its deal for Activision Blizzard amid the FTC appeal. As the FTC stated, it will argue its case in federal appeals court on December 6.

Microsoft now owns Activision Blizzard and all of its franchises, including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. For more, check out GameSpot's rundown of every Activision Blizzard game that Microsoft now owns.

Controversial Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has said he will stay on, and report to Phil Spencer, until the end of 2023. After that, he's expected to leave with a pay package of $400 million or more.

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