Regulatory Step-In – Big Tech Power
For a while, the US has been concerned about the rise of Big Tech companies and their influence on the American economy. Worries about the lack of competitiveness have continued to flare, and it’s not just one company. Many of these tech companies employ strategies to acquire their competitors to gain market share and power, or to branch out to a different industry in their sector that they want to enter. This was seen in Microsoft’s announcement to acquire video game giant Activision Blizzard in what looked to be one of the biggest acquisitions in history. Activision is a relatively large company, holding a market capitalization of nearly $60 billion, which means a lot not only for the tech sector overall, but the industry Activision operates in as the Microsoft giant is arriving.
However, it’s known that the FTC and chair Lina Khan have a strong dislike for companies who they believe are violating antitrust laws, and they chose to bite this time. The FTC filed a lawsuit against Microsoft on Thursday to prevent the $75 billion acquisition from going through, one of the biggest decisions it has made during the Biden administration. The FTC’s argument is that Microsoft has had a history of stifling competition in the industry when they bought ZeniMax Media in 2021. Microsoft chose to make some of the games from the company exclusive to their own platforms even though they said they wouldn’t do that, which the FTC considers to be abusive. With the acquisition of Activision, the FTC believes that Microsoft will have the ability to force consumers to shift to their own software by raising prices to access the game or removing the access completely. Activision holds some of the most popular games now, making this a big deal. This will stage a long court battle, and we’ll see who comes out victorious.
Want to learn how to invest? Download the Invstr app, where you can play Fantasy Finance and manage a virtual investment portfolio or open a brokerage account and invest for real. Take our interactive investing course on Invstr Academy and become a better investor today!
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.