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Microsoft Claims Activision Was Already Planning Mass Layoffs, In Response To FTC Complaint

Little more than three months after Microsoft officially acquired Activision Blizzard, the Windows company announced it would be laying off 1,900 people within its gaming division.

Most of those layoffs were set to come from Activision Blizzard itself, and it was later discovered that out of the 1,900, 899 employees from Activision Blizzard were impacted.

After the layoffs announcement, the FTC sent a complaint to the U.S Court Of Appeals, calling out the layoffs as “inconsistent with Microsoft’s suggestion to this Court that the two companies will operate independently post-merger.”

Well Microsoft has issued a response to the FTC, saying that actually, the 899 employees from Activision Blizzard being laid off can’t be put at Microsoft’s feet.

Allegedly that mass layoff was already planned by Activision Blizzard, it just so happened to come after the merger was finished.

“Consistent with broader trends in the gaming industry, Activision was already planning on eliminating a significant number of jobs while still operating as an independent company.

The recent announcement thus cannot be attributed fully to the merger.” said Microsoft. Another spokesperson speaking to VGC added that the FTC is failing to acknowledge that the deal has “substantially changed” due to the UK’s CMA requiring big, last-minute shifts.

Mainly that Microsoft did not get the cloud streaming rights to Activision Blizzard’s games, and instead sold them to Ubisoft, and that deals were signed all around to keep Call Of Duty a multi-platform title.

Despite the deal having closed since last October, it’s clear the FTC isn’t ready to give up on fighting it. The chances that it will actually make any ground on those efforts however, is unlikely.

Source – [GamesIndustry.Biz, VGC]