FTC sues Microsoft to block deal to buy Activision Blizzard

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FTC sues Microsoft to block deal to buy Activision Blizzard

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday sued Microsoft Corp. to block its $69 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard Inc.

The acquisition would allow Microsoft to suppress rivals to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business, according to the FTC.

Holly Vedova, the director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said in a statement that Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals. Today, we want to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets. FTC members pointed out Microsoft's record of acquiring and using valuable gaming content to suppress competition from rival consoles, including its acquisition of ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks. Microsoft President Brad Smith said that the software giant would fight the lawsuit. He said Microsoft has been committed to addressing competition concerns since Day One. Microsoft's shares are up 1% in trading Thursday. Activision's ATVI stock is down 2%.