Microsoft Activision Deal Blocked in U.S.

The Six Five team discusses Microsoft Activision Deal Blocked in U.S.

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Pat Moorhead: Microsoft Activision deal hits another snag, this time in the US and shockingly not just in the UK. What’s going on here, Dan?

Daniel Newman: I mean look, it’s not really any surprise, but it was worth covering that the FTC basically put a temporary request to block this acquisition, setting a hearing. The long and short term is that I think this is partially to Lina Khan, I think it’s partially that it needs more time to spend to really look at this deal. It probably wants to make sure that it gets a voice. A lot of credit was going over to the UK. Right now we’re in this anti-growth environment. Nobody wants to see big companies get bigger and certainly not on the watch of this administration, which really promised to enforce that. Having said that, very little real enforcement has been done. Now, you and I came out, the FTC hasn’t actually made any real comment by the way, on why they’re doing this. But Microsoft doesn’t seem to feel it’s that big of a risk for them.

They came out and said that this is going to give more choice to the gaming market. And Pat, I’m going to stick by what I said. I think there’s enough competition that besides the size of this deal, I can’t really figure out what we’re regulating. And I’m only saying that because between console, subscription services, mobile gaming, PC gaming, there just seems to be enough choice that, again, this is one of those where I just spin my wheels and I bang my head on the desk and go, “But the app store.” Why are we spending so much time on deals like this now? Are there certain titles that are extremely popular within this that could see some pricing power? Yes. But overall, Pat, I think this is another stop and pause moment. I think they will win out the US, I just don’t see it actually being stopped. But I think the optics here are showing that some additional consideration that it didn’t fly through, that some extra thought was given to this thing before ultimately making the decision to approve it.

Pat Moorhead: You sure didn’t want to talk more on this one, Dan?

Daniel Newman: Do you want me to talk more? That was fast.

Pat Moorhead: Seven minutes or so. No, I’m just kidding. No, listen, I’m going to fill in the blanks here. We just have one minute left. A regulatory bodies are seem to be places that innovation dies where they’re just not focused on the right things. I do think that this deal will go through given the right concessions. Microsoft, I’m sure has already given the Sony concession on that. And heck, you don’t make money off the gaming console, you make money off the game. So maybe this is Apple. They want some commitment that people will write directly to their metal API and their crappy notebooks that can’t run games right now because nobody wants to write the metal. But this is going to go through, this is a temporary stop.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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