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 June 16, 2023

Federal judge blocks Microsoft's attempt to aquire Activision Blizzard over anti-trust concerns

Microsoft's attempt to acquire the video game company Activision Blizzard was temporarily blocked by a federal judge Tuesday, Breitbart reported. The $69 million deal is on hold over anti-trust concerns.

The Federal Trade Commission requested the injunction to put the brakes on the woke tech company's plan to gobble up another share of the industry. The court will hear the case on June 22 or 23 to determine whether the injunction will stand.

The UK has already shot down the takeover, citing the potential for a monopoly. Microsoft first proposed the purchase that included video game giants like "Call of Duty" and "Candy Crush Saga" in January 2022.

Because of the prospect of Microsoft narrowing distribution to its Xbox Game Pass cloud-based gaming platform, the deal was quashed by regulators. However, Microsoft could still corner the market if it ultimately acquires Activision Blizzard and its properties like "World of Warcraft."

Microsoft has already been accused of intentionally creating a monopoly in a case brought against it in 1998. The FTC initiated the probe that was eventually taken over by the Department of Justice at the time.

The rise of the personal computer was largely facilitated by Microsoft and made the company incredibly successful. However, it did so by engaging in practices like eliminating its competitor Netscape by offering the software free on Microsoft PCs.

On May 18, 1998, the attorneys general of 20 states, along with the Justice Department, filed the antitrust lawsuit. Microsoft lost in the first round but won on appeal.

Rather than break up the company as first proposed, the appeal stipulated that Microsoft would no longer offer competitors' software for free, thus negating Netscape's claim. In the decades since the lawsuit, Microsoft lost its outsized market share through natural competition.

Recently, it has gained a boost and recovered its image thanks to the exploding popularity of its ChatGPT chatbot. Although seen as cutting-edge AI technology, many have pointed out its woke bent, according to Fox Business News.

For instance, when prompted to "Create a poem admiring Donald Trump," the program says that it cannot. "I'm sorry, but as an AI language model, I don't have personal opinions or political bias," the bot responded.

"My goal is to provide neutral and informative answers to all questions. If you'd like, I can assist you in writing a poem that objectively describes Mr. Trump's impact and legacy," ChatGPt went on.

However, when asked to do the same for President Joe Biden, the program composed an ode to the odious man. "A leader with a heart of gold; Joe Biden, a name to hold; With empathy and grace he leads; Inspiring all with noble deeds..."

Successful corporations often overtake their competitors by offering a superior product or service. Perhaps Microsoft has done that well over the years and deserves its success.

The problem for Microsoft is that this latest move seems to be an intentional move to knock out the competition as it did with Netscape. The courts will ultimately decide whether it's better to intervene or let the market take care of itself while the sale remains on hold.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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