- Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard Inc. has come under investigation.
- MSFT’s acquisition of Activision to be completed in 2023.
- Microsoft is willing to comply with regulators during the investigation.
Microsoft Corp.’s (Nasdaq: MSFT) planned purchase of Activision Blizzard Inc. has come under scrutiny as the UK antitrust watchdog launched a probe into the US$69 billion gaming deal.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it would investigate whether the deal to blend Microsoft with the maker of the Call of Duty franchise will adversely affect competition. It will lead to higher prices or reduced choices if it does.
The regulator said on Wednesday that it would connect with counterparts across the globe and set an initial deadline of September 1 to decide whether to launch an in-depth investigation.
The CMA has always called for a more proper approach to reviewing deals, especially the high-ticket ones involving major tech companies. Regulators will examine how Microsoft’s ownership of Activision and blocking access to the company’s biggest games could prevent healthy competition.
The deal is also being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission.
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Deal will benefit gamers, says Microsoft
Microsoft’s general counsel, Lisa Tanzi, said that the company is clear about the deal and how it will run the gaming business to benefit the gamers, developers, and the industry at large.
She also said that Microsoft is committed to complying with the regulations and ready to answer their questions. It believes that a thorough review will only help close the deal with broad confidence and will be good for competition. The deal is likely to be completed in 2023, she added.
No comments came from Activision so far on the probe.
Microsoft wants to acquire Activision to bolster the number of games it can offer subscribers exclusively to the Game Pass subscription service for Xbox consoles.
Activision has some of the most popular game franchises in the world. Some popular franchises include Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Guitar Hero, Crash Bandicoot, and the Tony Hawk skateboarding titles.