FTCacronym for Federal Trade Commission, i.e. the American antitrust, will express itself in a few weeks on the acquisition of Activision Blizzard from Microsoftapproving or rejecting the almost 70 billion operation announced by the Redmond company almost a year ago, last January.
Well, the decision that the commission is preparing to take will be politics or it will actually respond to the assumptions of the institution, thinking first of all of the users? It seems like a rhetorical question, given that in theory there should be no doubt that the antitrust will protect the interests of consumers. Yet the latest developments regarding the alleged rift within the antitrust insinuate more than one doubt on the matter.
According to a report published by the New York Post, it seems that one of the commissioners belonging to the Democratic area of the FTC has expressed favorable opinion with respect to the acquisition, as happened to the only Republican representative of the commission, Christine Wilson, who has already publicly declared her position.
Even if another member of the democratic area were to pronounce himself in favor of the operation, a parity would be reached capable of embarrassing President Lina Khan, who “according to insiders would like to exploit the case to increase its credentials as guarantor against deals between big tech companies.”
Lina Khan, president of the FTC
Born in 1914, the Federal Trade Commission is a government agency that promotes the consumer protection and the prevention of anti-competitive business practices. It is a body characterized by five commissioners who are cast by parliament, as well as the head of the commission, appointed by the president of the United States.
We are therefore speaking of an entity strongly, inevitably politicized, although endowed with an internal equilibrium, which nonetheless performs a precise function with respect to the market, its dynamics and the interests of users. Yet the same confirmation of Lina Khan in the Senate took place due to her well-known positions towards the big technology companies, above all Amazon.
In short, what should be a decision focused precisely on the balance of the market and on the protection of consumers could turn into something different, a purely political gestureand also influence the opinion of the other antitrust commissions with veto rights, which have always looked closely at the positions expressed by the FTC.
For its part, Microsoft has already hinted that if the outcome were to be negative, it is ready to fight and to assert its reasons in a courtroom. The hope is that all this will be spared us, given that the entire discussion so far has highlighted probably the worst of the parties in the field.
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