Microsoft Responds to FTC Claims Against Activision Layoffs

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First reported at The Verge, Microsoft has officially responded to recent FTC claims against the company’s decision to lay off Activision employees.

A new court filing surfaced online today, where Microsoft defends its actions. Last month, Microsoft laid off 1,900 employees within its video game division.

The US FTC filed a court notice regarding the layoffs just yesterday. The FTC claims that Microsoft’s move “contradicts the foregoing representations it made to this Court”.

Now, Microsoft replied that “Activision was already planning on eliminating a significant number of jobs while still operating as an independent company”.

So, the argument is that Microsoft’s merger cannot be solely to blame for the layoffs in question. Microsoft also says that “the FTC’s factual assertions are incomplete and misleading”.

activision blizzard layoffs

Microsoft adds that after the merger, it is operating in a way that allows the company to “divest any or all of the Activision businesses as robust market participants”.

The court filing also says that Activision’s existing layoff plans align with “broader trends” that have recently devastated the industry.

There have certainly been plenty of layoffs this year, affecting studios of all sizes. Last week, Sega announced plans to lay off 61 employees.

Smaller studios like Artificer faced recent layoffs that affected about half of the entire team. Lords of the Fallen publisher CI Games laid off about 10 percent of employees last month.

So, it is absolutely plausible that Activision already intended to lay off employees. However, it remains to be seen if this will satisfy the FTC.

Previously, Microsoft also stated that the layoffs arose as the company “identified areas of overlap”.

Phil Spencer issued a lengthy memo alongside the original layoff announcement, also citing the need for a “sustainable cost structure”.

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