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"Gamer Lawsuit" Against Microsoft Merger Thrown Out Of Court




While the FTC sued and the European Commission and CMA both launched investigations, a group of ten Gamers from across the United States launched their own antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft to block the Activision merger. In its filing, the ten Gamers said that the merger "would give Microsoft an unrivaled position in the gaming industry, leaving it with the greatest number of must-have Games and iconic franchises."

Three months later, the "Gamer's Lawsuit" has been tossed by Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley. IP analyst Florian Mueller (via Games Radar) posted the granted motion to dismiss on Twitter yesterday confirming Microsoft had successfully dodged at least one legal hurdle blocking it from acquiring Activision.

Related: Is Anyone Even Asking For Call Of Duty On Nintendo Switch?

In her decision, Judge Corley said that the suit "does not plausibly allege the merger creates a reasonable probability of anticomPetitive effects in any relevant market." The ten Gamers said that the merger would result in the "elimination of a rival," but Judge Corley didn't see enough evidence to suggest either Sony or Nintendo would be eliminated following the Activision merger.

As for allegations that Call of Duty would be made exclusive if Microsoft were allowed to acquire Activision, Judge Corley said there was "no appreciable danger" of that ever happening when Microsoft could make $1 billion in ten days if it continued to release on all platforms.

"Why would Microsoft make Call of Duty exclusive to its platforms thus resulting in fewer Games sold?" Corley asked during the hearing. "What is it about the console market or PC Games market and Microsoft’s position in those markets that makes it plausible ... Microsoft would take such steps."

Corley's argument follows Microsoft's own statements and its promise to keep Call of Duty on rival platforms for at least ten years. Microsoft has signed contracts with Nintendo, Nvidia, and other cloud streaming platforms, with Sony remaining the only holdout.

While the preliminary injunction against Microsoft has been vacated, the ten gamers still have 20 days to amend their case and refile.

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