A class-action lawsuit filed by a group of gamers has been dismissed from a California court this week. The suit alleged that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision/Blizzard would have anticompetitive effects on the industry.
The lawsuit’s key point was that Call of Duty could be chained to Microsoft’s consoles and PCs. Considering this major semi-annual series sells well across most major platforms, it is concerning that PlayStation owners may be cut out of the mix. However, would Microsoft be willing to miss out on the revenue to spite Sony? Doubtful.
Regardless, the Alioto and Joseph Saveri Law Firms out of San Francisco claimed that the merger would violate the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914: “This is a private antitrust action seeking an order of the Court prohibiting the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Inc. by Microsoft Corporation as a violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Antitrust Act (15 U.S.C. § 18). The threatened loss or damage to the Plaintiffs and to the public at-large by the merging of two giants in the video game industry is extensive and broad.”
GameSpot linked to the dismissal documents, wherein North District of California judge Jacqueline Scott Corley said the class-action suit “does not plausibly allege the merger creates a reasonable probability of anticompetitive effects in any relevant market.”
However, Jude Corley does state that it is entirely possible that Microsoft could make Call of Duty or any other acquired IP exclusive to its platforms, but there was not enough evidence to show this was a certainty, “they do not make any factual allegations that support the conclusory incentive assertion. Why would Microsoft make Call of Duty exclusive to its platforms thus resulting in fewer games sold? What is it about the console market or PC games market and Microsoft’s position in those markets that makes it plausible there is a reasonable probability Microsoft would take such steps.”
It will take an entity more prominent than the customer base to derail the Activision/Blizzard buyout at this point.[Source: GameSpot] [Source: Document Cloud]
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