For almost two years, the drama between Microsoft and the FTC was practically a weekly drama. Whether the purchase of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft would be allowed by international organizations was up in the air, especially due to the opposition of a specific organization: the FTC. The Federal Trade Commission of the United States. A very powerful organization, capable of delaying a massive purchase like this, or even sinking it. And while they finally allowed the purchase, it seems that Microsoft is still not out of their sight.
In the last few hours, the FTC has sued Microsoft in a federal court. The reason has had to do with Activision Blizzard, not the acquisition itself, but its consequences. Specifically, the layoffs that have occurred as a result of it.
The reasons for the lawsuit are nothing more than the FTC considering that the layoffs are “inconsistent with Microsoft’s comments to this Court that both companies would continue to operate independently after their merger”. Something that Microsoft will have a very difficult time denying. They have added that the layoffs themselves violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Basically, a regulation against acquisitions that seek to create monopolies or reduce competition in the market. Something that Microsoft claimed it was not doing under the premise that both companies would continue to operate independently.
Due to this, Microsoft’s judicial odyssey is very likely to still have a long way to go. Something that, it seems, the FTC would have no problem in continuing to point out, given their insistence on avoiding this merger from the beginning.