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FTC Opposes Metaverse-Focused Activision Blizzard Acquisition From Microsoft

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Microsoft’s bid to acquire Activision Blizzard — a move originally intended to create Metaverse initiatives — hit a roadblock after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) intervened.

Federal Trade Commission Request Prevent Microsoft from acquiring the gaming giant to promote fair competition in high-performance game consoles and subscription services. However, former Microsoft CEO and President Satya Nadella announced that the acquisition “will play a major role in the development of metaverse platforms.”

In a recent complaint, the FTC argue that Microsoft and Sony already “dominate” the high-performance gaming industry – through the XBOX and Play Station consoles – and that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard would increase Microsoft’s power in this. sector.

Holly Vidova, Director of the FTC’s Competition Bureau, pointed to Microsoft’s track record of acquiring ZeniMax and limiting the release of popular games, such as Starfield and Redfall, to XBOX consoles, adding:

“Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming competitors. »

The complaint speculates on a similar fate for Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo and Overwatch, among other games, which belong to the Activision ecosystem. However, the FTC’s concerns indirectly affect Microsoft’s metaverse initiatives.

In July, the FTC filed a lawsuit against social media giant Metaclaiming “its ultimate goal of owning the entire ‘metaverse’.” As Meta is well aware, network effects on a digital platform can make a platform stronger – and its competitors weaker and seriously less competitive – as it acquires more users, content and developers. He told FTC about the complaint.

about: Meta ‘running’ with metaverse plans despite skepticism – Zuckerberg

In October, a Meta shareholder urged the company to reduce its annual investment. According to Brad Gerstner, CEO and founder of technology investment firm Altimeter Capital, meta investments of $10 billion to $15 billion a year in building the metaverse could take a decade to generate returns.

“The estimated $100 billion investment in an unknown future is significant and terrifying, even by Silicon Valley standards,” Gerstner said.

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