FTC Condemns Activision Blizzard’s Cuts, Microsoft Defends!

The US Federal Trade Commission is complaining about the more than 1900 people who were laid off, and they still don’t like the fact that Microsoft took over Activision Blizzard King.


Although nothing in the law ultimately prevented Microsoft from expanding with another publisher, the FTC filed appeals back in December to block and reverse the process. Now, on Wednesday, the FTC complained to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals about layoffs at the publisher, and sees processes contrary to Microsoft’s earlier statements happening under ActiBlizz, no longer headed by Bobby Kotick…

“Microsoft’s recently reported plan to cut 1,900 jobs in its video game division, including its newly acquired Activision unit, contradicts the foregoing representations it made to this Court. Specifically, Microsoft reportedly stated that the layoffs were part of an ‘execution plan’ that would reduce ‘areas of overlap’ between Microsoft and Activision, which is inconsistent with Microsoft’s representation to this Court that the two companies would operate independently after the merger,” the FTC wrote, claiming that Microsoft had been deceptive.

You have to hand it to them for how quickly and aggressively the Redmond tech giant really got a foothold in publishing. Of course, Microsoft hasn’t been slow – WCCFTech has the following statement from the company: “In continuing to oppose the deal, the FTC is ignoring the fact that the deal itself has changed significantly. Since the FTC lost in court last July, Microsoft has been required by the UK competition authority to restructure the acquisition globally and therefore did not acquire the cloud streaming rights to Activision Blizzard games in the United States. In addition, Sony and Microsoft signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation on even better terms than Sony had previously.”

And in a letter to VGC, Microsoft’s lawyers claim that Activision Blizzard was planning massive layoffs even if the acquisition had not gone through, noting that there have been layoffs across the industry: “Consistent with broader trends in the game industry, Activision was already planning to eliminate a significant number of jobs while operating as an independent company. As such, the recent announcement is not entirely due to the merger.”

This is getting really ridiculous and sad… at the same time.

Source: WCCFTech, FTC, VGC

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Anikó, our news editor and communication manager, is more interested in the business side of the gaming industry. She worked at banks, and she has a vast knowledge of business life. Still, she likes puzzle and story-oriented games, like Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, which is her favourite title. She also played The Sims 3, but after accidentally killing a whole sim family, swore not to play it again. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our IMPRESSUM)

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