US senators want Xbox’s Activision Blizzard acquisition reviewed by the FTC, for sake of workers’ rights

This isn’t about monopolies.

Image via Activision Blizzard

Microsoft is set to acquire Activision Blizzard in a massive deal worth nearly $70 billion. There have been concerns among gamers about a monopoly, although Microsoft sits well behind Tencent as the top gaming company in the world. As it turns out, some members of the US government have concerns too, but not for the same reason.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, four US senators sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In the letter, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Sheldon Whitehouse “urge FTC chairwoman Lina Khan to assess whether the planned transaction could exacerbate the flurry of sexual-abuse, harassment, and retaliation allegations at Activision stemming from recent federal and state investigations.” Activision Blizzard just settled one such lawsuit for $18 million, but it’s not the only lawsuit the company faces. The senators don’t want such important incidents swept under the rug while Microsoft takes over the company.

It’s a noble cause, and Activision Blizzard’s mistreatment of its employees runs deep. When Raven Software voted to unionize, Activision quickly attempted to bust things up by sending employees to different departments. Unfortunately, such mistreatment has been commonplace in the games industry. Ori series developer Moon Studios and State of Decay developer Undead Labs are under fire as well after reports of toxic workplace conditions.