Microsoft’s made an effort to avoid an FTC lawsuit over its $69 billion Activision-Blizzard deal. It was to enter a legally binding consent decree to make Call of Duty available on rival consoles for ten years, according to Brad Smith, the company’s president and vice chair.
Smith added that the consent decree was proposed before FTC commissioners met with the company last week, and that the company eventually sued Microsoft in an attempt to block the tech giant’s $69 billion takeover bid for video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. He also expressed disappointment that the FTC did not take more time to consider the consent decree proposal before filing suit.
Sony’s gaming chief, Jim Ryan, stated in September that Microsoft’s earlier offer to keep Activision Blizzard’s popular game series on PlayStation for three years after the current agreement expires was insufficient. On Thursday afternoon, the FTC lawsuit put a major hurdle in front of Microsoft’s plans to massively grow its portfolio of popular games and catch up to larger rivals, putting the issue in the hands of an administrative law judge.
The FTC declined to comment directly on Smith’s remarks, but instead issued the following general statement from Holly Vedova, director of the agency’s Bureau of Competition: “The Bureau’s long-standing policy is that we are always willing to consider remedy proposals that are put on the table in the course of our investigations and litigations.”
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.