The FTC Files Complaint Against Microsoft Over Layoffs at Activision Blizzard

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has lodged a complaint against tech giant Microsoft, alleging that the recent layoffs at Activision Blizzard go against the terms established during the company’s acquisition. The FTC asserts that Microsoft’s actions contradict their earlier assurances that Activision Blizzard would continue to operate independently after the merger. According to the FTC, Microsoft’s position was that the post-merger company would be structured in a way that would allow divestiture if necessary.

The FTC claims that Microsoft’s decision to initiate layoffs at Activision Blizzard reveals a breach of their previous statements. By targeting areas of overlap within the business, the layoffs undermine the independence of Activision Blizzard. This is inconsistent with Microsoft’s representation to the court that the two companies would function separately following the merger. The FTC argues that these actions hamper Activision Blizzard’s ability to separate from Microsoft in the future and seek relief in administrative proceedings.

In response to the layoffs, the FTC asserts that Activision Blizzard is now unable to secure “effective relief” in potential future administrative proceedings against Microsoft. The FTC highlights Microsoft’s plan to eliminate 1,900 jobs within its video game division, including positions in the newly-acquired Activision unit. The layoffs, according to the FTC, underscore the necessity of injunctive relief to prevent further harm until the administrative proceeding is concluded.

The outcome of the complaint remains unclear at this stage. Despite the FTC’s efforts to halt and reverse Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, they have not been successful thus far. The case is ongoing, and further developments will be awaited with anticipation.

The FTC’s complaint against Microsoft regarding their layoffs at Activision Blizzard reflects the disagreement over the company’s post-merger operations. The FTC argues that Microsoft has reneged on previous assertions and compromised the independence of Activision Blizzard. The future of the complaint and its potential implications for the merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard remain uncertain.


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