Ten gamers are suing Microsoft to prevent the company from merging with Activision Blizzard, the company that makes Call of Duty.
The case filed in a US federal court claims that the Xbox system maker’s acquisition of its rival for $69 billion (£56 billion) will “create a monopoly in the video gaming business.”
The complaint was submitted two weeks after US regulators asked an administrative judge to halt the transaction.
The merger would be the biggest technology deal in the history of the video game industry.
Similar issues were brought up by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in its lawsuit about two weeks ago. The US business watchdog identified Activision as one of a select group of leading video game studios that produced top-notch titles for various platforms.
The agency claimed in a news release that the proposed acquisition would give Microsoft “both the means and desire to undermine competition” by manipulating prices, degrading games on rival video game consoles, or “withholding content from competitors entirely, resulting in harm to consumers.”
Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, stated the business had “full confidence in our argument” and welcomed the chance to argue it in court after the FTC launched its action.
Microsoft also declared that if the acquisition went through, it would make Call of Duty available on the Nintendo Switch for 10 years and made a comparable pledge to rival Sony, the manufacturer of the PlayStation console.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick stated in a statement to colleagues posted on the corporate website, “This sounds scary, therefore I want to underline my confidence that this merger will close.” “The claim that this agreement is anti-competitive doesn’t match the facts, and we think we’ll prevail in this challenge,”
One of the most well-known legal battles to result from US President Joe Biden’s promise to take a tougher stance against monopolies is this one.
The takeover, which was announced in January, is also being challenged in court in the UK and the European Union.