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Hearings aren’t due to begin until August
Google and Nvidia have both provided the US Federal Trade Commission with objections to Microsoft’s attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Bloomberg report. The FTC opted last month to sue Microsoft to block the acquisition, arguing that the deal would suppress competition.
Sources who wished to remain anonymous told Bloomberg that Google and Nvidia “provided information that backs a key FTC contention — that Microsoft could gain an unfair advantage in the market for cloud, subscription and mobile gaming.” Nvidia’s remarks to the FTC apparently stressed the need for equal access to games, but did not directly oppose the acquisition.
Much of the objection to Microsoft’s acquisition relates to the unfair advantage it could offer the tech giant if Activision Blizzard’s games – including the likes of Call Of Duty and Overwatch – were exclusive to Xbox consoles and the Game Pass subscription service. Both Google and Nvidia operate game streaming services: Nvidia’s GeForce Now left beta two years ago, while Google’s Stadia streaming service launched in 2019 but is due to close next week.
“We are prepared to address and have been proactively addressing issues raised by regulators or competitors to ensure that the deal closes with confidence,” Microsoft spokesman David Cuddy told Bloomberg. “We want people to have more access to games, not less.”
Microsoft’s concessions thus far have included offering ten-year deals to Nintendo and Sony to feature Call Of Duty on their platforms. Sony remain strongly opposed to the acquisition.
Buying Activision Blizzard for $69 billion would be the very expensive icing on a cake of recent Microsoft acquisitions, including Bethesda and all its developers, Obsidian, Double Fine, Ninja Theory and many more. Despite wanting “people to have more access to games”, Bethesda Softwork’s Starfield will not come to PlayStation platforms when it launches later this year.
FTC hearings on the acquisition are due to begin this August.