Microsoft Runs Pro-Union Ads Amid Activision Blizzard Acquisition

Microsoft Runs Pro-Union Ads Amid Activision Blizzard Acquisition

Microsoft wants everyone to know that everything is pro-union.


Microsoft recently found itself in hot water when it made some scathing remarks against the FTC’s antitrust lawsuit, calling it unconstitutional. However, this statement was later retracted by the company and a revised response was submitted. Microsoft is under scrutiny for its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and investigations have been launched by several agencies, including the FTC. Perhaps as an additional measure, the company saw fit to place an ad in the Washington Post, advocate for unionization, and also support the FTC.


The ad is a long statement headlined A New Year Opens New Doors and was co-signed by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Whatever the internal motive, it looks like Microsoft wants everyone to know that the company is pro-union.

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“As we enter a new year, we remain committed to creating the best possible jobs for people who make a living in the technology sector,” reads the ad, transcribed by The Verge. “When both employees and management bring their voices to the negotiating table, employees, shareholders and customers benefit equally.

“These include the more than 300 employees at Microsoft’s ZeniMax Media studios who have exercised their statutory right to vote to form a union. This aligns with the new pioneering principles of labor neutrality introduced last year by the Communications Workers of America and Microsoft. During 2023, we hope to bring the same agreement and principles to Activision Blizzard, which Microsoft has proposed to acquire.”

Contrary to the company, which initially called the FTC’s actions “unconstitutional,” the advert praises the commission and calls on it to investigate any possible instances of antitrust violations caused by the acquisition.

“We are not asking the FTC to ignore competition concerns. On the contrary, we believe it’s important to explore solutions that protect competition and consumers while promoting worker needs, economic growth and American innovation.

We believe this was the spirit that led Congress to create the FTC in 1914.”

The ad concludes by saying that this is “a spirit worth keeping alive today.” This appears to be a sharp reversal from the company’s statements when the FTC originally issued the antitrust lawsuit. At the time, Microsoft’s official legal response stated that the entire case violated Article 3 of the US Constitution. She further accused the FTC of “improper selective enforcement of antitrust laws.” It also said that “the Commission’s proceedings arbitrarily subject Microsoft to an administrative process, rather than a process before an Article III judge, thereby violating Microsoft’s right to equal protection under the Fifth Amendment.”

Only a few days later, however, Microsoft withdrew these statements. In a statement, Microsoft public affairs spokesman David Cuddy said: “The FTC has an important mission to protect competition and consumers, and we quickly updated our response to omit language that the Constitution provides otherwise.” suggests. We initially put all sorts of arguments on the table internally and should have dropped those defenses before we filed them. We value feedback on these defenses and are reaching out directly to those who have raised concerns to make our position clear.”

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