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1 Feb, 2022 16:34

US govt to look into Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal

The US Federal Trade Commission will review the deal amid a toughening stance on Big Tech mergers
US govt to look into Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal

The record-breaking $69-billion deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard has caught the attention of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which will now reportedly investigate the acquisition as it takes a more aggressive stance on mergers within the tech industry.

According to Bloomberg, reports indicate the FTC will conduct its investigation alongside the Justice Department in an attempt to determine the potential harm the deal could cause to consumers, rivals and partner companies. Two weeks ago, on the same day Microsoft announced the deal, the FTC set out to rewrite its merger guidelines in response to US industries becoming increasingly concentrated. 

FTC chair Lina Khan has warned that when it comes to Big Tech mergers, the biggest threat is to partner companies, who, for example, end up being forced to do their business solely on platforms like the Apple Store or Amazon’s digital marketplace.

The FTC has already acted on its commitment to regulate big-budget mergers, recently suing to block Nvidia’s purchase of Arm and Lockheed Martin’s acquisition of rocket engine manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings.

While Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition doesn’t seem to be breaking any current antitrust laws, it’s clear that the deal will face increased scrutiny from the FTC moving forward, even though legal experts believe it will still go through.