Microsoft is said to be willing to go to court if the US Federal Trade Commission tries to block the Microsoft Activision-Blizzard megadeal.
At least, that's what Bloomberg now reports to have heard from sources familiar with the matter. Last week, we reported that Microsoft is willing to offer Sony a 10-year Call of Duty licensing deal in order to shorten the regulatory process, but Bloomberg's source now claims that conversations with the FTC about offering remedies or concessions haven't taken place at all.
"The Xbox maker hasn’t had conversations with the FTC about remedies or concessions aimed at getting the deal approved, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing a confidential matter", the Bloomberg article reads. "FTC staff is wrapping up its investigation and is expected to make a recommendation soon, the person added. The FTC commissioners would then vote on whether to file a case."
In the event the FTC tries to block the case, Microsoft is gearing up to contest that decision in court, said the person, who asked not to be identified speaking about internal strategy. Bloomberg Intelligence antitrust analyst Jennifer Rie said it wouldn’t surprise her if the FTC files a lawsuit seeking to block the deal, but noted that a court fight would be hard for enforcers to win and Microsoft could prevail -- though a legal battle could stretch beyond the deal’s end date. Microsoft has said it expects to close the transaction by June 30.
This is in line with what Activision-Blizzard's Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Chief Communication Officer, Lulu Cheng Meservey, recently said on Twitter about the deal.
"Seeing a lot of speculation about Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard", the executive wrote on Twitter last month. "Any suggestion that the transaction could have anticompetitive effects is absurd", This merger will benefit gamers and the US gaming industry — especially as we face stiffer competition from abroad."
Meservey continued, "We're committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but won't hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if that's needed."
Interesting pieces of information for sure. Meanwhile, Activision-Blizzard was recently added to Wedbush's 'Best Ideas List' with the investment firm expecting the $69 billion transaction to be completed within the next six months.
Like last week's report from Reuters, known Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter believes that Microsoft will likely be making formal guarantees around the availability of Activision content, such as making "Call of Duty'' available on Sony's Playstation for the next decade.
This surely isn't the last that we'll be hearing about this extensively debated transaction. As always, we will keep you updated on the matter.