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FTC files complaint against Microsoft for recent Xbox layoffs


The regulatory battle over Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard isn’t over yet. Per the Verge, the FTC has filed a complaint after the Xbox maker laid off 1,900 employees in January.

In its complaint, the FTC claims Microsoft contradicted an earlier promise to “maintain a pre-merger status quo.” It wants the acquisition paused until it completes a proper antitrust evaluation.

By eliminating overlapping positions, Microsoft went back on its word. As such, Activision Blizzard isn’t actually operating independently, making it hard for the FTC to “order effective relief” in potential administrative proceedings.

Last summer, the FTC filed a lawsuit and injunction against Microsoft to prevent the merger. Both failed, but it argues the new layoffs underscore “[our need] for injunctive relief.”

Beyond pausing the acquisition, the FTC has no other claims at present. Game Developer contacted Activision Blizzard and Microsoft for comment, and will update when a response is given.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor,

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don’t ask him about how much gum he’s had, because the answer will be more than he’s willing to admit.


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