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The FTC sued Microsoft to stop the EU accepting a settlement over Activision deal, it’s claimed

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit attempting to block Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard in an attempt to dissuade EU regulators from accepting a settlement allowing the deal, it’s been claimed.Bloomberg reports that, according to people familiar with the investigations, US regulator the FTC filed a complaint quicker than expected, because it wanted to pre-empt its European counterparts, who were preparing to negotiate a potential compromise with Microsoft.According to the report, the FTC filed its complaint just hours after US and EU officials held a call about their separate enquiries, during which the EU said they planned to start discussions with Microsoft about a settlement.This reportedly led to the FTC filing the suit on the same day, even though it wasn’t due to consider settlement proposals until later in the investigation process.Those close to the transaction told Bloomberg that the FTC wasn’t expected to act until the spring, and that usually in these situations it would wait until closer to a deadline to try and figure out settlement terms that would be considered globally acceptable.However, as Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s antitrust head Barry Nigro told Bloomberg, the FTC’s speedy lawsuit appears to be an attempt to “get out in front of the Europeans in an effort to shape the narrative”.In its official statement following the filing of the suit in December, the FTC alleged that the deal would not only give Microsoft an upper hand in the console market, but also in other areas such as subscription gaming and cloud gaming.It claimed that “the $69 billion deal, Microsoft’s largest ever and the largest ever in the video gaming industry, would enable Microsoft to

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