TECH NEWS – A Swedish company files a lawsuit against Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, accusing them of colluding illegally for business.
Everyone, including Sony, fans of all platforms, regulators, and more, have been keeping an eye on Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard King since its announcement. Still, while many have been mostly focused on whether it will create a monopoly or how it will affect Call of Duty on PlayStation consoles, a company sued the two companies involved in the acquisition for collusion. Sjunde AP-Fonden, the Swedish government-owned agency that manages Swedish people’s pensions, recently filed this lawsuit.
There’s no doubt that Microsoft’s impending acquisition of Activision Blizzard is getting a lot of criticism. Still, this 205-page lawsuit, released Nov. 10 by Sjunde AP-Fonden and first reported by Bloomberg Law, focuses more on how it came about. the deal and the terms surrounding CEO Bobby Kotick following Activision Blizzard’s numerous sexual misconduct scandals prior to the announcement.
In short, Sjunde AP-Fonden alleges that the merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard was “manipulated to take advantage of the beleaguered gaming giant’s sexual harassment crisis and protect its CEO,” according to Bloomberg Law. It also names all current and former members of Activision Blizzard’s board of directors and claims that the $69 billion price tag (the largest acquisition in gaming history) was designed to allow an underpriced deal between the two companies and that Kotick will remain at least until the end of the regulatory review. can keep his position, at least according to the lawsuit.
It claims that Microsoft colluded with Activision to buy the big game company at a “bargain price” and that the process was a sham. Both Activision and Microsoft spokesmen addressed the lawsuit in statements to Bloomberg Law, with Activision spokesman Joe Christinat saying, “This is a great deal for shareholders. We received 98% approval of the votes cast. The board is thorough went through a process to decide on the right course of action for employees, shareholders and players”. Microsoft’s response was short, sweet and to the point: “we have negotiated the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard legally and fairly”.
For now, it is uncertain which direction the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger will go, as well as what will become of the lawsuit. Obviously, these are serious allegations and shouldn’t be simply swept under the rug while everyone looks at what this means for companies other than Microsoft. For context, if this deal goes through, Microsoft will reportedly be the largest U.S.-based gaming company and the world’s third largest behind China’s Tencent and Japan’s Sony conglomerate.