The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be handling the antitrust review in the United States of Microsoft’s proposed multi-billion dollar acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard Inc., according to reports.
“The FTC will oversee the investigation into whether the takeover will harm competition, instead of the Justice Department, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the review. The two agencies share responsibility for antitrust reviews of mergers and often reach agreements about which one will investigate a deal,” Bloomberg reported. “FTC Chair Lina Khan has long advocated for a more forceful approach to reviewing deals, particularly by the biggest technology companies, which she says are able to leverage their dominance in one line of business to gain power in other markets. Under her leadership, the agency has sued to block two major takeovers — Nvidia Corp.’s proposed purchase of Arm Ltd. and Lockheed Martin Corp.’s deal to buy of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc.”
Microsoft announced its plans to buy gaming giant Activision Blizzard in a deal worth a reported $68.7 billion back in January.
“With three billion people actively playing games today, and fueled by a new generation steeped in the joys of interactive entertainment, gaming is now the largest and fastest-growing form of entertainment,” the Big Tech icon announced in a statement. “Today, Microsoft Corp. announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard Inc., a leader in game development and interactive entertainment content publisher. This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.”
“When the transaction closes, Microsoft will become the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony,” Microsoft announced. “The planned acquisition includes iconic franchises from the Activision, Blizzard and King studios like ‘Warcraft,’ ‘Diablo,’ ‘Overwatch,’ ‘Call of Duty’ and ‘Candy Crush,’ in addition to global eSports activities through Major League Gaming. The company has studios around the world with nearly 10,000 employees.”
“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” said Satya Nadella, executive chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.”
“Players everywhere love Activision Blizzard games, and we believe the creative teams have their best work in front of them,” said Phil Spencer, CEO, Microsoft Gaming. “Together we will build a future where people can play the games they want, virtually anywhere they want.”
“For more than 30 years our incredibly talented teams have created some of the most successful games,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard, who will continue to serve in this role following the acquisition. “The combination of Activision Blizzard’s world-class talent and extraordinary franchises with Microsoft’s technology, distribution, access to talent, ambitious vision and shared commitment to gaming and inclusion will help ensure our continued success in an increasingly competitive industry.”
This acquisition would be the largest ever by Microsoft, as well as within the gaming world, with the company expecting the deal “to close in fiscal year 2023.”
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.