The suit, which was filed December 8, claims that the deal would make Microsoft too strong a competitor in the video games industry, and would ultimately suppress competition. Microsoft has reportedly not seen such a "serious regulatory threat to its business" in over 20 years, when the Department of Justice brought an antitrust lawsuit against the company.
In a press release from the FTC, the commission gave more insight into their decision. One part that caught my eye says, “Microsoft decided to make several of Bethesda's titles including Starfield and Redfall Microsoft exclusives despite assurances it had given to European antitrust authorities that it had no incentive to withhold games from rival consoles.”
In other words, the FTC is worried Microsoft will change their mind about Call of Duty exclusivity once the deal is approved.
Earlier this week Xbox boss Phil Spencer spoke on the Second Request podcast and reacted to Sony’s stance on Microsoft’s bid to buy Acti-Blizz.
Spencer said, "There has really only been one major opposer to the deal, and it's Sony. Sony is trying to protect their dominance on console. The way they grow is by making Xbox smaller. They have a very different view of the industry than we do. They don't ship their games day and date on PC, they don't put their games into subscription when they launch their games.”
But ok, depending on when you’re watching this, you may be preparing for the Game Awards 2022. The official livestream begins December 8 with a 30-minute pre-show at 4:30 PM PT / 7:30 PM ET, followed by the main show at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET. Award winners will be announced from over 30 categories across general gaming and esports including Game of the Year, Best Game Direction, and a new award for Best Adaptation of a video game IP into another form of media.