The Federal Trade Commission is taking issue with Microsoft recent layoffs of Activision Blizzard employees, saying the company is reneging on its promise.
The FTC was the most determined opponent to Microsoft’s Activision acquisition, continuing to contest the deal long after the EU and UK signed off on it. According to The Verge’s Tom Warren, the FTC says Microsoft’s announcement it would be laying off 1,900 employees—most of them Activision employees—flies in the face of the company’s claims pre-merger.
Warren posted a copy of the FTC’s letter on X:
“Microsoft reportedly has stated that the layoffs were part of an ‘execution plan’ that would reduce ‘areas of overlap’ between Microsoft and Activision, which is inconsistent with Microsoft’s suggestion to this Court that the two companies will operate independently post-merger.”
The FTC is continuing to fight the merger, hoping to win in court and open the door to undoing it. It’s unclear if this latest turn of events will bolster the FTC’s case, but the agency says the layoffs could make it harder to roll back the deal if it does win its case.
“Moreover, the reported elimination of thousands of jobs undermines the FTC’s ability to order effective relief should the pending administrative proceeding result in a determination that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act.”
This development is merely the latest twist in what is already one of the most drawn-out sagas in tech merger history.