Judge approves Microsoft acquisition of Activision, FTC to appeal

Originally published at: Judge approves Microsoft acquisition of Activision, FTC to appeal | Boing Boing

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Microsoft has been in anti-competitive monopoly territory for decades. We should be breaking it up with strong antitrust enforcement, not letting it grow bigger


The evil empire grows …

The ‘C’ in ‘CoD’ now stands for ‘consolidation’, I guess.

Also, is it normal for this sort of court document to be so heavily redacted you’d think that at least one party to the case was an officially nonexistent member of the intelligence community?

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The part that kills me is MS already got hit once before with an antitrust case and was forced to spin off its software operations into a separate entity from the OS operations. MS has a clear precedent of anti-competitive behavior.

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The judges son working for Microsoft was not enough of a reason to recuse herself. She also had to:

  • change the enforcement standard by moving the burden of proof that the merger won’t lessen competition from Microsoft onto the FTC,
  • treat statements from Microsoft executives as factual despite the FTC showing similar statements in a previous merger were discarded
  • act as if the court was obliged to follow the merged deadline (it’s not)
  • mention she considers the video games market beneath her “All of this for a video game

Fucking hell.

Historians will trace one of the key factors in the downfall of America to the total abandonment of anti-trust enforcement in the late 20th and early 21st century.


During the Gilded Age the US suffered under predatory monopolies before, but serious antitrust increased. I haven’t given up hope yet that we can do it again and right the ship.


That’s kind of the point, though. While anti-trust as an idea (and the earliest laws) do predate the Gilded Age, the modern idea of antitrust enforcement came about from that. The problem is, America forgot all the problems that were fixed by antitrust, just like it forgot all the problems fixed by the New Deal and other programs that go against unregulated libertarian capitalism. The latter is seemingly America’s default state, and it always returns to that.


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