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Gamers to sue Microsoft over Activision Blizzard deal

Ten gamers are suing Microsoft to prevent the company from merging with Activision Blizzard, the company that makes Call of Duty.

A lawsuit filed in a US federal court says the $69bn deal by the Xbox console maker to purchase its rival will “create a monopoly in the video game industry”.

The complaint was submitted two weeks after US regulators asked an administrative judge to halt the transaction.

The merger would be the biggest technology deal in the history of the video game industry, BBC says.

According to the lawsuit, the proposed acquisition would give Microsoft “far-outsized market power in the video game industry,” according to the complaint “with the ability to foreclose rivals, limit output, reduce consumer choice, raise prices, and further inhibit competition.”

Similar issues were brought up by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in its lawsuit about two weeks ago. The US business watchdog identified Activision as one of a select group of leading video game studios that produced top-notch titles for various platforms.

The agency claimed in a news release that the proposed acquisition would give Microsoft “both the means and motive to harm competition” by manipulating pricing, making games worse on its competitors’ video game consoles, “or withholding content from competitors entirely, resulting in harm to consumers,” the agency said in a press release.

After the FTC filed its lawsuit, Microsoft president Brad Smith said the company had “complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present our case in court”.

Writing by Muzha Kucha