The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit Monday to block Microsoft’s bid to purchase video game powerhouse Activision Blizzard in a hail-Mary pass move by the agency to prevent what could be the largest consumer technology deal in decades.
Microsoft had just closed the buy-out deal with the video game company known for its blockbusters such as Call of Duty and Candy Crush to the tune of $69 billion on Friday.
But in its lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the FTC argued that the merger could compromise competition in the video game market.
Additionally, the FTC called on the court to issue a restraining order to stop the purchase from being completed.
The case could prove to be a bellwether test to see if giant tech companies will be able to complete large acquisitions amid public backlash against the sector’s growing power.
In April, Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority also tried to block the buyout, but in May, regulators in the European Union overturned that ruling and gave the go-ahead for the deal to move go forward.
By David McCabe and Kellen Browning/NYT