Right, Microsoft’s knocked it out of the park in a tussle with the Federal Trade Commission. Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley has shooed away the FTC’s plea for a preliminary injunction, giving Microsoft’s gargantuan Activision Blizzard deal the green light to conclude. Microsoft first declared its intention to buy Activision Blizzard early in 2022. The proposed transaction got a thumbs up from a broad spectrum of regulatory entities, but was given the cold shoulder in the UK.
FTC’s Failed Attempt to Derail Microsoft’s Gaming Giant Acquisition
A wide array of nations have cheerfully embraced Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. But, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority was not among the fans, deciding to put the brakes on the deal. The FTC also took a swing at derailing the colossal transaction.
Yet, thanks to Judge Corley’s verdict, the FTC’s effort to block Microsoft’s bid to secure Activision Blizzard has essentially gone up in smoke. The game-changing deal is now open to finalisation. Though the FTC still technically has a card to play – appealing the ruling, whether they will take this step remains a mystery.
Elucidating her ruling, Judge Corley said the FTC had slipped up in demonstrating that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard would “noticeably weaken competition”. In fact, the proof seemed to nudge towards the deal being a boon for consumers.
Corley underscored Microsoft’s promise to retain Call of Duty on PlayStation for a minimum decade, plans to parachute Call of Duty into Nintendo’s camp, and numerous arrangements for Activision games to surface on varied cloud gaming services. In short, Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard paves the way for consumers to enjoy Activision-published games across an expanded spectrum of platforms.
Future of Xbox Game Pass: The Activision Advantage
Once the dust settles and Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition is a done deal, the gaming industry’s landscape could see seismic shifts. For example, Sony hinted that the merger might result in it being unable to dish out Activision PlayStation 6 development kits. If this hunch turns out to be true, it could potentially throw a spanner in the works of Microsoft’s pledge to keep shipping Call of Duty to PlayStation.
Peering into the not-so-distant future, the agreement could prove to be a veritable jackpot for Xbox Game Pass. Heralding the arrival of Call of Duty on Xbox Game Pass on its release day could be a strong enticement for gamers to jump on the subscription bandwagon. There’s also the potential for Microsoft to sprinkle some additional perks for Activision games onto Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, akin to what they’ve done for their homegrown titles.
Back in the day, Activision aired its wish to see some of its shelved franchises reborn under the Xbox banner, such as the Skylanders toys-to-life series and the musical extravaganza Guitar Hero. Whether these dreams become reality remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Microsoft’s pocketing of Activision Blizzard is set to turbocharge Xbox’s presence across console, PC, and mobile gaming spheres.
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Stephen is the proud owner of a popular gaming news website GLN, where he provides the latest updates on everything gaming-related. With a passion for video games that dates back to his childhood, Stephen is dedicated to sharing his knowledge and expertise with fellow gamers around the world.