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posted by janrinok on Wednesday November 23, @02:42AM   Printer-friendly

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/21/technology/microsoft-activision-deal.html

In recent weeks, Microsoft has accused Sony, its chief video game rival, of misleading regulators. Its lawyers have showed off game consoles, including an Xbox, to British officials. And the president of a major union that Microsoft wooed has spoken up on the company's behalf to the Federal Trade Commission.

The actions are part of a campaign by Microsoft to counter intensifying scrutiny of its $69 billion acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard, the largest consumer technology deal since AOL bought Time Warner two decades ago, and far bigger than Elon Musk's recent $44 billion buyout of Twitter.

Microsoft's aim is simple: persuade skeptical governments around the globe to approve the blockbuster takeover. Sixteen governments must bless the purchase, putting Microsoft under the most regulatory pressure it has faced since the antitrust battles of the 1990s. And in three key places — the United States, the European Union and Britain — regulators have begun deep reviews, with the European Commission declaring this month that it was opening an in-depth investigation of the deal.

Whether Microsoft succeeds in gaining regulatory approval to buy Activision, which makes games such as Candy Crush and Call of Duty, will send a message about Big Tech's ability to expand in the face of mounting fears that industry giants wield too much power. If Microsoft, whose public affairs operation has spent the past decade building the company's nice-guy reputation, can't get a megadeal through, can anyone?

"If this deal had happened four years ago, this would hardly be of any interest," Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, said in an interview. "If one cannot do something easy, then we'll all know you can't do something hard."

Google, Meta, Amazon and Apple have all faced increasing accusations that they are monopolies, and regulators have tried to block some of their smaller deals. In July, the F.T.C. sued Meta, Facebook's parent company, to stop it from buying Within, a virtual reality start-up. Last month, Britain forced Meta to sell Giphy, an image database it bought in 2020 for $315 million.


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by RamiK on Wednesday November 23, @02:03PM (2 children)

    by RamiK (1813) on Wednesday November 23, @02:03PM (#1281273)

    Objectively, contemporary software and tech services companies are gigantic conglomerates with hundreds of divisions running thousands of projects and products that are often at direct competition against themselves and having different cons and pros and even development models so you can no longer say one company is good or bad because they're practically holding companies at this point.

    Subjectively, the vast majority of young developers use vscode and consider Microsoft to be a good company since they don't charge developers for the privilege of developing for their platform unlike Google and Apple and they at least pretend to listen to user and developer input when it comes to features and designs unlike Google, Apple, Red Hat and Mozilla.

    The core problem is that the user land is no longer following Do One Thing and Do It Well so we went from having a lot of small tools we can piece together and contribute to, to having huge browsers, init system, desktops and languages+libraries that need full time specialized developers to maintain. So, whether they're FOSS or not, the open source development model can no longer be driven by academics and third party contributors so the end result as far as users and developers are concerned isn't any more open than a closed source project with a non-commercial free-to-use license. And if you think I'm exaggerating, look up why NCommander is using Windows right now while fixing up Soylent.

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @04:53PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @04:53PM (#1281291)

    And if you think I'm exaggerating, look up why NCommander is using Windows right now while fixing up Soylent.

    Why is he using Windows?

  • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Sunday November 27, @01:13AM

    by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Sunday November 27, @01:13AM (#1281837)

    The core problem is that the user land is no longer following Do One Thing and Do It Well so we went from having a lot of small tools we can piece together and contribute to, to having huge browsers, init system, desktops and languages+libraries that need full time specialized developers to maintain.

    This. I think it is the tendency of developers, or at least those that fund them, to envy the big successes, even if they are inferior products. Thus each version of Firefox looks and acts more and more like Chrome, and is less and less friendly to users that want to control their experience rather than having someone else's ideas control it. Linux seems more and more like Windows or Chrome with each release, and is less and less like the Unix experience it was modeled after. And just look what happened to Gnome!