The FTC Must Stop Microsoft’s Aggressive Push to Monopolize Gaming

December 7, 2022 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Ahead of Microsoft reported meeting with Federal Trade Commission today, along with news that Microsoft has offered concessions to Sony and Nintendo in an effort to secure their proposed acquisition of Activision-Blizzard, the American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement.

“Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision is an unlawful merger that will undermine the vitality of an important sector of the American economy and consolidate the video game industry into a small group of firms who control walled gardens of content, data, and advertising,” said Sarah Miller, Executive Director of the American Economic Liberties Project.

“Microsoft’s recent promises not to abuse that power by making preemptive concessions to Sony and Nintendo reinforce the underlying illegality of the original deal,” Miller added. “The antitrust agencies’ long history of overseeing failed settlements, even when appropriately negotiated with the agency rather than as part of a PR strategy, suggest an outright block is the appropriate response.”

“We understand why Microsoft is seeking monopoly power in this area,” said Miller. “In a recent Wall Street Journal piece, Microsoft President Brad Smith argued that his firm’s real goal is to break into the mobile app gaming sector, where Apple and Google have ironclad control because of their chokehold on App Stores. As Smith wrote, acquiring ‘Activision Blizzard would enable Microsoft to compete against these companies.'”

“Microsoft’s claim that Apple and Google have monopoly control over the mobile ecosystem is reasonable,” Miller added. “This control prevents video game firms, and not just Microsoft, from competing fairly on important platforms. The appropriate response, however, is not to grant Microsoft corresponding market power so it can cut special deals, but to break Google and Apple’s control over the mobile ecosystem, as Congress and a number of state legislators are currently considering. We also encourage the Department of Justice Antitrust Division to bring an antitrust case against Apple over its app store market power.”

“The right response to one set of monopolies – Apple and Google – is not to further entrench another monopoly – Microsoft – to fight them,” said Miller. “The antitrust laws are designed to foster an open and competitive economy, one where the little guy can compete on the merits, and not one based on getting permission from a monopolist to get access to a market.”

Learn more about Economic Liberties here.


The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.