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FTC Challenges Microsoft Over Activision Blizzard Layoffs

Microsoft’s plans to cut 1,900 jobs from its video game division contradict statements the company made to a US court that it would operate Activision Blizzard, the US Federal Trade Commission has said.

In a report by Bloomberg’s Leah Nylen and Cecilia D’Anastasio, the FTC said the layoffs show that the merger created areas of overlap and the court should have paused Microsoft’s integration of the two companies while the agency completes its in-house trial.

The FTC had unsuccessfully sought to block the deal last year and a federal judge ruled the proposed merger could move forward but the agency appealed that decision. The federal appeals court in San Francisco is currently weighing the case.

In late January CEO of Microsoft Gaming, Phil Spencer confirmed that Microsoft would be letting go of 1,900 staff in the gaming division after completing its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Spencer released an internal memo stating the layoffs would affect staff at Xbox, Activision Blizzard, and ZeniMax, and amount to around 8% of the division.

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