Microsoft retracts claim that FTC’s actions are unconstitutional

Call of Duty DMZ

The tech company says it should have dropped those points

Microsoft has filed a revised version of its response to the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit over the Activision Blizzard merger. While similar in broad strokes, it does specifically remove a series of points questioning the constitutionality of the FTC’s actions.

In a revision spotted by Axios, Microsoft removed a section claiming that the FTC was working counter to the United States Constitution or the 5th Amendment. While the new filing does still argue that Microsoft’s potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard would not stifle competition, it has backed off on some of those aforementioned claims that the FTC is infringing on rights.

“The FTC has an important mission to protect competition and consumers, and we quickly updated our response to omit language suggesting otherwise based on the constitution,” said Microsoft spokesperson David Cuddy to Axios. “We initially put all potential arguments on the table internally and should have dropped these defenses before we filed.”

Cuddy also says that the company is now “engaging directly with those who expressed concerns to make [its] position clear.” Activision Blizzard has reportedly dropped similar language from its own claim.

The deal carries on

Microsoft is still working towards finalizing its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, as we near the one-year anniversary of when the deal was first announced. The $68.7 billion purchase became one of the biggest stories of 2022, as it kicked off rounds of inquiry from organizations like the FTC.

Earlier this week, FTC attorney James Weingarten said there has been no “substantive” discussion between the FTC and the company. If this continues, the trial for the suit is currently set for August.

Meanwhile, more has been happening at the studios under both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. QA workers at ZeniMax recently successfully voted to unionize, forming a massive union that Microsoft has elected to officially recognize. They follow in the footsteps of efforts at Raven Software and Blizzard Albany, whose QA departments also won votes to unionize last year.

Eric Van Allen
Senior News Reporter