Microsoft and FTC Are Fighting Over Ubisoft Deal Investigation in Activision Acquisition Case

While the $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft has been closed, the FTC isn’t giving up, and the legal battle between the house of Xbox and the regulator continues. 

A few weeks ago, the FTC asked to be granted leeway to investigate the deal between Microsoft, Activision, and Ubisoft which led to the approval of the acquisition by the British CMA, paving the way to the closure of the deal.

That motion was granted with certain caveats, but turns out that Microsoft and Activision aren’t willing to provide all the documents and testimonies that the FTC would like, and the regulator is getting testy. 

Call of Duty is certainly one of the crown jewels of the acquisition. 

In a new motion filed with the administrative law judge, the FTC seeks to force Microsoft to comply with its requests. 

The regulator is seeking the following.

  • Corporate testimony about terms that were proposed but not included in the final Ubisoft Agreement.
  • Corporate testimony about the alternatives to the Ubisoft Agreement that Respondents considered.
  • Corporate testimony from Activision on all but three noticed topics.
  • Any documents or corporate testimony about Respondents’ own agreement to extend their merger’s timing, which was a necessary precondition to reaching the Ubisoft Agreement.

Microsoft’s counsel has argued that these elements are irrelevant, and offered to have one of its testimonies speak for Activision, since now the company is owned by Microsoft, but the FTC’s counsel isn’t having any of that, 

Apparently, the parties have communicated and met to try and solve their differences on these issues, but have reached an impasse, so now the FTC is asking the judge to force Microsoft and Activision to be compliant.

They go as far as including a draft order they’d like. Why have a judge waste time writing an order when you can write one for them and just ask them to sign it?

That being said, it certainly appears that the FTC wants to dig rather deep into the Ubisoft deal, and Microsoft and Activision don’t seem too keen on providing any more information on it than they already have. 

In the meanwhile, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is departing soon, as Microsoft works to further integrate the publisher within its chain of command,