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Sony didn’t want ‘Roblox’ on PlayStation due to child safety concerns
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Sony didn’t want ‘Roblox’ on PlayStation due to child safety concerns

FTC files injunction to block Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard


Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is already suing to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activsion Blizzard, but now it’s taking steps to halt the deal before the July 18th deadline for the merger. On Monday afternoon, the agency filed for an injunction that would prevent the merger from closing as scheduled.

We’ve asked the FTC for comment. Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith tells Engadget in a statement that the company believes the injunction is “accelerating the legal process” and will help the merger move forward sooner. In previous statements, Microsoft has downplayed the deal and claims that Activision Blizzard doesn’t have “must have” games. It even suggests Sony has higher-quality exclusives. The FTC, however, notes that Activision is one of just a few giant game publishers that publish major titles across platforms.

The lawsuit is going before the FTC’s own administrative law judge in August. That official will make a decision that can appeal to the Commission for a vote. If the agency votes against the merger, Microsoft can appeal to a federal court to challenge the outcome.

The injunction comes weeks after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority said it would block the $68.7 billion purchase. The regulator is concerned Microsoft may buy its way into a monopoly of the young cloud gaming space, giving it up to 70 percent market share. Microsoft has tried to assuage those fears by striking deals with game streaming providers to put titles on their services. The tech giant has also tried to address fears of a Call of Duty Xbox exclusive by promising multi-platform releases for a decade.

Microsoft has had some success with its proposed merger. The European Union greenlit the deal, for example. The company clearly needs US and UK support to move forward, though, and there are no guarantees it can make concessions that satisfy those countries’ regulators.

Update 5:29PM ET: Added official confirmation of the FTC filing an injunction against Microsoft’s proposed merger with Activision Blizzard.

Sony didn’t want ‘Roblox’ on PlayStation due to child safety concerns |

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