In a complaint (via Reuters) filed on Tuesday in a federal court in California, plaintiffs argued that the $69 billion deal could substantially lessen competition or create a monopoly in violation of the Clayton Act.
The private anti-trust action was brought by 10 video game players in California, New Mexico and New Jersey.
They jointly describe themselves as having “the express interest and intent in ensuring that the industry remains competitive, with the utmost innovation, output, choice, and price constraints, now and in the future”.
While most of the plaintiffs said they play games on multiple platforms, eight said they play games on PlayStation consoles compared to three who play games on Xbox systems.
“If Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard is allowed to proceed, the video game industry may lose substantial competition, and Microsoft may have far-outsized market power, with the ability to foreclose rivals, limit output, reduce consumer choice, raise prices, and further inhibit competition,” the lawsuit argues.
Earlier this month the US Federal Trade Commission said it was launching a lawsuit in an attempt to block the proposed acquisition, which it argues would enable Microsoft to “suppress competitors” to its Xbox consoles and its subscription content and cloud gaming business.
In response to the news, Microsoft president Brad Smith said the company was confident in its case and would attempt to prove that the deal was not anti-competitive.