The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has opened an investigation into Microsoft's acquisition of Activision, according to a report from Bloomberg.
In case you missed it, last month Microsoft announced that it is acquiring video game publisher Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 Billion, all paid in cash. The deal had a negative impact on Sony who saw a 14% decline in their stock price as well as raised some eyebrows. Now, the FTC is looking into the acquisition from the competitive and antitrust standpoint.
FTC Chair Lina Khan has been advocating for better scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions that may harm the competition. The FTC Chair has been particular about the deals in the technology space as she believes that tech companies "are able to leverage their dominance in one line of business to gain power in other markets". Last year, FTC put Nvidia's acquisition of ARM under a microscope which has reportedly pushed Nvidia to consider backing out of the acquisition altogether.
Microsoft is currently expecting the deal to close in 2023 but the FTC investigation can change the timeline. Activision currently holds IPs of several popular games including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush. While Microsoft says it plans to honour Activision's agreement with other companies, it may not be enough for the FTC to allow for the deal to take place.