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FTC uses Bethesda and Xbox exclusives as evidence to thwart Activision buyout

Although several companies will not go to gamescom 2022, Ubisoft confirms attendance

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is one of the main regulatory units against the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King. The organization will not give up its mission to thwart the purchase and today it is using the exclusivities between Bethesda and Microsoft as evidence of how Xbox can do the same with Activision.

One of the FTC’s concerns is that call of duty, as also pointed out by PlayStation, ended up as an Xbox exclusive. In a new legal document, the FTC says it believes Microsoft’s actions after buying ZeniMax are “strong evidence” to prevent the Activision Blizzard King deal from moving forward.

In case you missed it: the FTC fined Xbox millions of dollars.

The evidence is precisely the way in which Xbox has made all of Bethesda’s content exclusive for Xbox after completing the purchase of ZeniMax, hinting that this could happen with Activision Blizzard King and its content.

“The Defendants [lado de Microsoft] placed great emphasis on concerns about ‘exacerbating players’ if it were to prevent access to Activision content… But those very concerns did not stop the decision [en el caso de la compra] of ZeniMax,” the document reads.

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The FTC uses Bethesda exclusivities to go against Xbox

What the FTC is referring to is that Microsoft has denied that it will make exclusive call of duty for Xbox consoles, which uses as its argument the desire to allow more players to have access to those titles (which is why it has signed agreements to bring the franchise to more platforms, including Nintendo Switch). However, it is something that Sony refuses to believe, instead thinking that Microsoft could do it over time and thus hurt its brand to such a degree that it has not sought dialogue with Microsoft.

Something that drew attention in this regard is what one of those responsible for redfallwhich (regardless of the outcome of the game) mentioned that Bethesda had a version of redfall for PlayStation 5 list, but that Microsoft forced to cancel it after the purchase of the company was finalized, which would go against what Microsoft preaches with call of duty and that he could rather break his word to favor the Xbox ecosystem and thus end the dominance of PlayStation, something that is reinforced by some private conversations between Microsoft executives.

Then the exclusivity of Starfieldwhich, although it was never announced as cross-platform, it was almost evident that it would reach all consoles, like the other Bethesda games until then.

What do you think of the stance of the FTC’s arguments? Tell us in the comments.

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