Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard will be handled by the FTC in the US
The FTC and DOJ plan to be stricter on acquisitions and mergers moving forward
Published: 1st February 2022 | Source: Bloomberg |
The FTC will be conducting an antitrust review of Microsoft's Blizzard Acquisition
Like all major acquisitions, Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard needs to go through an antitrust review process, where governments will either approve or disapprove of proposed acquisitions based on how they think it will impact consumers.
As reported by Bloomberg, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has confirmed that they will be conducting the review of Microsoft's $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, not the Department of Justice (DOJ). This announcement came after the FTC and DOJ agreed that they need to be stricter on acquisitions following a surge of merger filings since 2020.
Several global industries are becoming increasingly concentrated, leaving less room for competition. The FTC/DOJ's decision should help prevent too many industries from becoming dangerously dense, and this may prevent the US from approving Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. At a minimum, this deal will make things more difficult for Microsoft.
While Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard will be the largest in gaming history, Sony's acquisition of Bungie confirms that Microsoft's rivals have spending power and are acquiring their own set of studios. Even after their merger with Activision Blizzard, Microsoft will not be the largest company within the gaming market, with both Sony and Tencent being larger in terms of revenue. That fact alone makes it likely that the FTC will allow Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard.
Currently, Microsoft expects to officially acquire Activision Blizzard by June 2023, assuming that everything goes as planned legally.