Strap yourselves in, folks — here we go again!
Earlier this month, the US Federal Trading Commission announced it was filing a suit against Microsoft's attempted takeover of Activision Blizzard, and now Microsoft and ActiBlizz have revealed their responses in court documents.
The Activision Blizzard responses are particularly interesting, directing a lot of criticism towards the FTC. It's even referenced that the commission is trying to "ignore the facts and rewrite antitrust law" at one point in the statement:
"The FTC ignores the significant benefits of the Transaction in favor of a warped attempt to ignore the facts and rewrite antitrust law and settled precedent to protect Xbox's competitors from hypothetical harm that has no basis in marketplace realities."
The entire document is a pretty long read, so we recommend checking it out for yourself if you're interested, but basically Activision Blizzard goes into detail about why there's no reason to worry about Call of Duty becoming exclusive on Xbox, why the suggestion that Call of Duty is a powerful influence on platform adoption is "baseless, contrived, and lacking in any legal significance", why adding Activision Blizzard content to multi-game subscription and cloud gaming services would be beneficial for consumers, and much more.
The final paragraph of the introduction to the statement sums it all up pretty well:
"The FTC's disregard for these benefits to consumers and focus on supposed harms to Xbox's deep-pocketed competitors betrays a fundamental disconnect between the FTC's theories and the antitrust laws' underlying purpose, which is to protect competition, not competitors.
The FTC is asking this Court to protect the world's largest gaming companies from further competition from Xbox, and thereby turning antitrust on its head. Blinded by ideological skepticism of highvalue technology deals and by complaints from competitors, the FTC has not only lost sight of the realities of the intensely competitive gaming industry, but also the guiding principles of our nation's antitrust laws."
The company isn't holding back, then, and while Microsoft's responses are less critical on the whole, Sony's reluctance to accept a 10-year Call of Duty deal is brought up on a couple of occasions, and it's pointed out that "antitrust laws do not serve to insulate the dominant market player (Sony) and its favored business model from competition."