Microsoftâs attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard â a moveÂ originally aimed toward building Metaverse initiatives â hit a roadblock after an intervention by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The FTC sought to block Microsoft from acquiring the gaming giant as a way to promote fair competition in high-performance gaming consoles and subscription services. However, Microsoft CEO and chairman Satya Nadella had previously stated that acquisition would âplay a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.â
â FTC (@FTC) December 8, 2022
In a recent complaint, FTC argued that Microsoft and Sony already âcontrolâ the high-performance gaming industry â via XBOX and Play Station consoles â and acquiring Activision Blizzard would increase Microsoftâs power in the sector.
Holly Vedova, FTCâs Bureau of Competition director, noted Microsoftâs record of acquiring ZeniMax and limiting the publishing of popular games, such as Starfield and Redfall, to XBOX consoles, adding:
âMicrosoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals.â
The complaint speculates a similar fate for Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, DiabloÂ and Overwatch, among other games, that belong to the Activision ecosystem. However, FTCâs concerns indirectly impact Microsoftâs metaverse initiatives.
In July, FTC filed a lawsuit against social media giant Meta, alleging âits ultimate goal of owning the entire âmetaverse.ââ âAs Meta fully recognizes, network effects on a digital platform can cause the platform to become more powerful â and its rivals weaker and less able to seriously compete â as it gains more users, content, and developers,â said FTC in the complaint.
Related: Meta âpowering throughâ with metaverse plans despite doubts â Zuckerberg
In October, a Meta shareholder urged the company to cut down on its yearly investment. According to Brad Gerstner, CEO and founder of technology investment firm Altimeter Capital, Metaâs investments of $10 billion to $15 billion per year into building the metaverse may need a decade to yield returns.
âAn estimated $100B+ investment in an unknown future is super-sized and terrifying, even by Silicon Valley standards,â Gerstner stated.