Microsoft's Activision Blizzard takeover will be reviewed by the FTC - MrLiambi's blog


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Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Microsoft's Activision Blizzard takeover will be reviewed by the FTC

Microsoft's proposed $68.7 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard will be reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission.

That's according to a new report from Bloomberg, which indicates that the anti-trust scrutiny into the deal won't be carried out by the Justice Department.

Typically, these two bodies decide between themselves who will lead the investigation into mergers. In this case, the focus will almost certainly be on how Microsoft's ownership of the publisher will affect rivals, such as Sony.

Activision Blizzard is behind a number of intensely popular titles - including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush - and, of course, at this stage, it's unclear whether Microsoft harbours plans to release some games exclusively for Xbox and Windows PCs - even if Xbox boss Phil Spencer has already publicly stated that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation, as per existing agreements.

Interestingly, though, a joint statement recently released by the FTC and Justice Department indicated that both parties are working towards tougher merger guidelines, following the increased concentration in industries over the previous two years.

Microsoft is aiming for the deal to be completed in the fiscal year July 2022 - June 2023. However, given the potential for this increased level of scrutiny - not to mention the landscape-changing nature of the deal itself - a decision is much more likely to be reached towards the end of that timeframe, we'd guess.

The company isn't the only one making moves, either, with Halo and Destiny publisher Bungie announcing it will be acquired by Sony in a $3.6 billion deal.

Whatever the outcome is for both recent takeovers, it's shaping up to be another busy year in gaming.

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