When Microsoft announced that it was buying Activision-Blizzard – that was just two weeks ago, to put time into perspective – we knew the deal would be subject to plenty of government oversight and scrutiny. And if the companies thought they’d coast through, they might want to think again, as Bloomberg reports that it will be the Federal Trade Commission, not the Justice Department, that handles the oversight. Under the current administration, the FTC is considered bullish on antitrust issues and mergers that can upset industries, especially the tech industry. “Regulators are likely to look closely at how Microsoft’s ownership of Activision could harm rivals by limiting their access to the company’s biggest games,” Bloomberg argues – which is no doubt why Microsoft has been loud about maintaining Activision-Blizzard’s current Sony contracts.
Activision-Blizzard’s Q4 2021 earnings release, of course, will roll out tomorrow as planned, though the company has already said it will “not be hosting a conference call, issuing an earnings presentation, or providing financial guidance” pending the buyout.
Meanwhile, Activision execs have continued their soft-unionbusting attempts; the latest measure is a company-wise chat missive that insists “a union doesn’t do anything to help [the company] produce world-class games,” which ought to give everyone pause, since ensuring that workers are properly compensated and treated is extremely important to producing quality games and a pipeline capable of producing more, as everyone who’s been watching the industry for a prolonged period knows.
VP of QA at Activision just posted this shit in company slack LOL this was posted in a channel where you can’t reply to threads. Sad… pic.twitter.com/oDmG4u9dfq
— Jessica Gonzalez💙 #WeAreGWA (@_TechJess) January 31, 2022