Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard is going to be reviewed by the FTC, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The United States Federal Trade Commission’s goal is to evaluate whether the deal will hurt competition within the gaming industry. The Justice Department and the FTC both share the responsibility of reviewing antitrust matters and will often reach an agreement on which government agency will investigate each claim.
The deal is expected to receive a high level of scrutiny since FTC chair Lina Khan has been a fierce advocate for a harder look into deals done by large tech companies. Under Khan’s leadership, the FTC has moved to block two major deals in the industry. Nvidia Corp. recently backed away from its deal with Arm Ltd. following scrutiny from multiple countries’ regulatory agencies. Lockheed Martin’s purchase of Aerojet is also facing the FTC after it recently announced it’d be suing to block the purchase.
The investigation will reportedly take a close look at Activision’s gaming collection along with Microsoft’s consoles and hardware systems to determine if the purchase could harm competition within the gaming industry. Regulators will be looking at the impact the purchase could have in regard to whether it will limit access to the company’s popular games.
If the deal goes through, the purchase will likely take place around June 2023. But it will go through regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. and likely in other countries as well before the deal can close.