All is not well in the land of mergers and acquisition, as gamers have been on the warpath to stop Microsoft from acquiring Call of Duty publisher Activision. Last December, a group of ten individuals, who self-identified as "gamers", filed a lawsuit against Microsoft in order to stop its massive acquisition, despite even Sony failing to do so.
The lawsuit was based on the argument that the acquisition, a $69 billion deal, would create a monopoly (violating the Clayton Act in America) or, at the very least, unbalance the market by lessening competition in quite a substantial way. The gamers identified themselves as the party who would be economically hurt by the acquisition.
Recently, their lawsuit was dismissed after US District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley found it lacking sufficient evidence to support the lawsuit claims. But still, the group of 10 people, coming from states such as California and New Mexico, are not giving up.
After being given twenty days in order to corroborate their claims and present further evidence, the gamers have presented an amended lawsuit. This includes new information from Microsoft, and also evidence from what we know is the main opponent of the deal: Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Speaking to Reuters, a spokesperson for Microsoft commented that the amended lawsuit is built upon "unsupported and implausible claims about the deal’s effect on competition". Furthermore, Microsoft's lawyers commented on how the plaintiffs "waited 11 months after the transaction was announced to file their lawsuit, and then wasted several additional months filing an implausible complaint."
Will the group of gamers be able to step in and block the gaming giant from acquiring Activision, when even Sony has repeatedly failed to do so? We will see, in the meantime, before the end of April, the Competition and Markets Authority (the UK regulator) is due to rule on the deal. In May, before the 22nd, the European Commission is also supposed to follow suit.