US FTC Likely To Bring Antitrust Action Against Microsoft

According to a report published on Wednesday by Politico, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is planning to bring an antitrust action in an effort to thwart Microsoft Corporation’s (MSFT.O) $69 billion acquisition proposal for video game developer Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI.O).

The report quotes two of the three people who have knowledge of the matter as saying that a lawsuit challenging the deal is not guaranteed, and the FTC’s four commissioners have yet to vote out a complaint or meet with lawyers for the companies. Both of these pieces of information come from the report.

The Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan, has not taken any significant action to curb the influence of the world’s major technological giants. However, filing a complaint would be the agency’s most significant step. It would also be a major black mark for Microsoft, which has positioned itself as a sort of white knight on antitrust issues in the tech sector after going through its own arduous regulatory antitrust battles around the world more than two decades ago. If this were to happen, Microsoft’s position as a sort of do-gooder on antitrust issues in the tech sector would be severely damaged.