“The acquisition of a single game by the third-place console manufacturer cannot upend a highly competitive industry. That is particularly so when the manufacturer has made clear it will not withhold the game.”
Pretty much sums it all up.
In Microsoft and Activision’s reply to the FTC’s previously filed suit to stop the acquisition, you can tell that both companies are getting pretty sick of what they view as the FTC buying Sony’s complaints without looking at the big picture.
In the 37-page response to the FTC’s suit, Microsoft supplies multiple graphics and additional context to point out that the Activision deal is very different to the Bethesda deal. Microsoft admits that, yes, it does plan to make some Bethesda titles exclusive, but it continues to call out loud and clear that they have no such plan to do the same with Activision titles. Microsoft calls out that just because Sony, a competitor, “has thus far refused to accept Xbox’s proposal does not justify blocking a transaction that will benefit consumers. Giving consumers high-quality content in more ways and at lower prices is what the antitrust laws are supposed to promote, not prevent.”
In a response to The Verge, even Bobby Kotick got into the reply game saying, “there is no sensible, legitimate reason for our transaction to be prevented from closing.”
When it comes right down to it, this is an antitrust suit, something the FTC has every right (and obligation) to investigate and question. Microsoft doesn’t see this suit as “normal procedure” though and instead claims that “the FTC ignores the significant benefits of the transaction in favor of a warped attempt to ignore the facts and rewrite antitrust law and settled precedent to protect Xbox’s competitors from hypothetical harm that has no basis in marketplace realities.”
One thing’s for sure, things are going to get interesting.
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