Several gamers banded together to sue Microsoft over the Activision Blizzard agreement. In response to Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, ten gamers in the US have banded together to file a federal antitrust lawsuit against the software giant.
The lawsuit claims that the acquisition will give Microsoft sufficient sway over various gaming industry levels “to foreclose rivals, limit output, reduce consumer choice, raise prices, and further inhibit competition.” Bloomberg Law picked up this claim.
The lawsuit asserts that “Microsoft already controls one of the industry’s most well-known and substantial video game ecosystems.”
The proposed acquisition would give Microsoft the most must-have games and iconic franchises and an unmatched position in the gaming industry.
In response to the lawsuit, Microsoft told Bloomberg Law that the agreement “will increase competition and provide more opportunities for players and game developers as we work to bring more games to more people.”
Separate statements were released by the two law firms that brought the case in support of the legal action.
According to Joseph Saveri of the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, “as the video game industry continues to grow and evolve, it’s critical that we protect the market from monopolistic mergers that will harm consumers in the long run.”
“This case represents a necessary step in protecting consumer benefits and innovations that competition brings while preserving competition in the video game industry.”
According to Joseph Alioto of the Alioto Law Firm, “nothing has been as destructive to the free enterprise system as the mega-mergers of the last two to three decades.” They “destroy jobs, raise prices, erode quality, and stifle innovation.”
It’s more likely that Microsoft will be taken advantage of than this lawsuit will prevent the merger.
The lawsuit follows the FTC’s own lawsuit against the merger, and this course will probably result in the deal being blocked if it isn’t already.
Instead, this case is essentially a class action lawsuit under the covers. According to an analysis by FOSS Patents, it could be that Microsoft would pay the plaintiffs to end the case rather than contest it in court.
As Microsoft tries to pool its resources to fight the FTC as the primary lawsuit, more lawsuits of this nature are likely to surface.