US Senators Write Letter of Concern About Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Acquisition

US Senators Write Letter of Concern About Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Acquisition

The publishing business behind Call of Duty is Activision Blizzard and World of Warcraft. There has been an excellent deal of upheaval over the years.

Reports of workplace harassment circulated extensively throughout the firm, as did calls for CEO Bobby Kotick to go, leading many to believe Activision Blizzard might not have another item of news whirling about it.

However, Activision Blizzard quickly returned to the forefront of gaming news when Microsoft announced its plan to acquire the publishing behemoth.

It was an exciting statement for many because it indicated that other games could be coming specifically for Xbox Game Pass and that Activision Blizzard could see the rebirth of some of its older titles.

Other gamers were apprehensive about the announcement, asking how many of their beloved titles would become Xbox exclusives and whether Microsoft would become the "Amazon of gaming." Some US senators have expressed their worry about the subject in a recent letter to Federal Trade Commission Chair Leena Khan.

Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker, and Sheldon Whitehouse have expressed grave worry over Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Unlike other executives concerned about insider trading, these four senators believe that the Microsoft acquisition "precipitated recent federal and state investigations into Activision's sexual harassment and retaliation," which could lead to a flurry of allegations of abuse, harassment, and retaliation.

Microsoft-Activision-Merger

Picture: statusmarkets

Sanders, Warren, and others are concerned that the agreement will resolve many of the current complaints that Activision Blizzard faces, allowing the publisher to encounter significantly less scrutiny regarding alleged workplace difficulties.

Following the publication of the senators' letter of concern, Activision Blizzard issued a statement asserting that Microsoft supports Activision Blizzard's goals and efforts to enhance the business culture.

Microsoft president Brad Smith recently stated that Microsoft would ensure that the "proper people" at Activision Blizzard were in charge if the transaction went through. However, this hasn't put an end to the worries.

As evidenced by the senators' letter, many people are still afraid that if Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard, the firm will face no significant consequences for its previous failures.

As of this writing, you have only permitted Microsoft to discuss its plans with Activision Blizzard in hypothetical terms due to the acquisition not yet being officially approved.

Generally, it appears that the Xbox platform owner will leave the publisher alone, as seen by a recent statement stating that the issue of unionization will be left to Activision Blizzard.

However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expects the transaction to go forward, resulting in significant changes for the corporation. Over time, the publisher of Call of Duty has changed. 

Looking Into It

Bloomberg reported in late January that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would be in charge of the usual antitrust assessment of the Microsoft/Activision merger. According to regulatory filings, the government has since sent both companies repeated demands for documents.

At the time, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told the Financial Times that the Federal Trade Commission would not be able to veto the proposed merger on antitrust grounds since the merged business would not have a market-controlling position in the fragmented game sector.

Microsoft-CEO-Satya-Nadella

Picture: dynamitenews

At the time, Nadella stated that "even after this acquisition, we will be number three with a low teens [market] share, when even the highest player is also in the teens [for market share]."

Following an open letter to the FTC earlier this month, a coalition of 15 public policy organizations - including Public Citizen and the Communication Workers of America - asked the agency to investigate a merger that, in the words of the group, "fits a worrying pattern of consolidation in the gaming industry during the past several years."

"By absorbing another large game studio and publisher, Microsoft will increase its capacity to regulate content and self-prefer its own at the expense of market competitors," according to the letter. 

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Paul Syverson
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Paul Syverson
Paul Syverson is the founder of Product Reviews. Paul is a computer scientist; he used to carry out a handful of significant studies which contributed to bringing in many special features on the site. He has a huge passion for computers and other tech products. He is always diligent in delivering quality writings to bring the most value to people. Syverson.org |

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