WASHINGTON (AP/BLOOMBERG) – The U.S. competition watchdog wants to block Xbox maker Microsoft’s acquisition of games giant Activision Blizzard. The acquisition was announced in January. Microsoft was willing to pay $69 billion to publishers of games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. But the FTC believes it allows Microsoft to exclude competing game publishers from the Xbox.
According to the regulator, if Microsoft gets its hands on brands like Call of Duty, the tech giant has the “opportunity and intent” to limit competition. For example, the price of Activision games or their quality on other game consoles may be adjusted. Or games or expansion packs may be available later to players on Sony’s PlayStation.
The US is not alone in its concerns about the planned takeover. Regulators in the European Union and the United Kingdom have yet to approve the acquisition and are still looking at the consequences for the gaming market.
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced another deal with PC gaming platform Steam and Nintendo to make Call of Duty available. And the company said that Sony had another ten years to produce Call of Duty games for PlayStation, but the Japanese electronics giant was unwilling to agree.
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