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Microsoft and FTC pretrial hearings are set for January 3

Microsoft and FTC pretrial hearings are set for January 3

Microsoft and FTC pretrial hearings are set for January 3

A federal judge has set a date for the first pretrial hearing between Microsoft and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The two go to court on January 3 to fight over the fate of Microsoft to acquire Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard. Microsoft and Activision announced the merger in early 2022. At the time, the tech giant said it expected the deal to close no later than June 2023. Last month, the FTC to block the purchase from going forward.

“Microsoft has already shown that it can and will block content from its gaming rivals,” FTC Director Holly Vedova said at the time. “Today we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control of a major independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets.”

The FTC is expected to face an uphill battle trying to convince a judge of the merits of its case. First, Microsoft is not pushing for a “horizontal” merger that would see it eliminate one of its direct competitors. Moreover, the company has signaled that it is ready to make concessions to seal the deal. If the merger goes ahead, Microsoft has committed to releasing future Call of Duty games for at least 10 years. He also said he would .

“The Commission cannot meet its burden of showing that the transaction would leave consumers worse off because the transaction will allow consumers to play Activision’s games on new platforms and access them on new and more affordable ways,” Microsoft . The deal also faces regulatory scrutiny from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which recently said it would conduct an of the proposed merger.

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