No Substantive Settlement Talks with Microsoft Happening Currently Says FTC

It go into trial and might be a long haul.

Microsoft logo

A new report claims that the Federal Trade Commission has revealed there are currently no substantive settlement talks with Microsoft over the controversial Activision deal.

Reuters reported that FTC Attorney James Weingarten claims during a pretrial hearing just recently that the FTC and Microsoft have not made any “substantive” settlement talks yet. While there have not been any major talks between the two organizations, it is still unclear if they had any talks at all other than about the settlement.

Both sides could still agree to some compromise before the trial happens. Just recently, Microsoft stated that both EU and UK regulators have not blocked the deal. It is expected that there will be a decision happening in a few months.

Judge Michael Chappell will be presiding the hearings if the case goes to trial. These hearings are set to take place in August 2023, if it goes to trial, just to clarify.

In December 2022, FTC filed a lawsuit against Microsoft to stop its acquisition of Activision, which was $69 billion worth. The organization’s argument? If the deal would go through, it would give Microsoft more advantage to its Xbox consoles and its subscription content and cloud gaming business.

Microsoft and Activision countered the complaint and claimed, “The acquisition of a single game by the third-place console manufacturer cannot upend a highly competitive industry.” They were talking about the Call of Duty franchise, which was super popular these days and the “competition” was afraid it would lose benefits with this big deal.

FTC also claimed that Microsoft has a record of buying companies and making their content exclusive to theirs only, blocking access to its competitors. Some of their examples were titles developed under Bethesda like Redfall and Starfield.

Microsoft has rejected these claims.

Will both sides make compromises to avoid making this a long battle? FTC seems hard-headed about it so this could go into trial, but Microsoft could offer some sweet deals to lessen or better yet, avoid the trial altogether