US Senators Push for Closer Scrutiny on Microsoft’s Activision Deal

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Apr 01, 2022

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The video game holding company has faced scrutiny over its handling of workers’ rights and CEO Bobby Kotick’s sexual misconduct.

A Closer Look at the Deal

Four United States senators have called for a review of Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The lawmakers say they are “deeply concerned” about a lack of accountability on the game publisher’s part following alleged misconduct.

The group consists of democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Cory Booker and independent Bernie Sanders. They sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), calling into question the “consolidation in the tech industry and its impact on workers.”

In addition, the letter also addressed CEO Bobby Kotick, who has been in the spotlight over allegations of sexual misconduct. Kotick will stay in his position if the merger deal goes through despite calls to resign from shareholders and employees. 

"Workers at Activision Blizzard, following years of rampant sexual misconduct and discrimination and unfair labor practices, have led calls for greater transparency and accountability in the gaming industry,” the letter reads, “and we are deeply concerned that this acquisition could further disenfranchise these workers and prevent their voices from being heard."

Also, the senators touched on Activision’s recent $18 million settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The payment is for employees who complained of sexual harassment and discrimination. 

The video game company continues to face investigations into its handling of workplace misconduct.

If the acquisition deal manages to go through, it will make Microsoft the third-largest video game maker in the world. The tech giant hopes to consolidate on the purchase to drive its metaverse push.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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