Activision Blizzard Inc.
shares fell in after-hours trading on Wednesday after a report that the Federal Trade Commission is likely to file an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft Corp.’s acquisition of the video game publisher.
Politico reported this late Wednesday that FTC staff are skeptical of the companies’ arguments that the $69 billion acquisition won’t give Microsoft an unfair advantage in the video game market, even though commissioners have yet to vote on a lawsuit. Microsoft is making the Xbox video game console, raising concerns that it will make some of Activision’s most popular games – such as the “Call of Duty” franchise – exclusive to its platform, excluding rival Sony Group Corp.
Game console. A Microsoft spokesperson told Politico that the company “stands ready to address the concerns of regulators, including the FTC, and Sony to ensure that the deal closes with confidence.” Activision shares fell 4.5% in after-hours trading, while Microsoft shares rose slightly.