comscore Soon after Microsoft Activision deal announcement, US govt states it is overhauling merger guidelines
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Soon after Microsoft Activision deal announcement, US govt states it is overhauling merger guidelines

Due to the massive size of this deal, it was expected that relevant authorities would come in play. During an interview with VentureBeat, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick did touch on the topic stating Microsoft will "drive the bus, obviously, on the antitrust issues."

Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition

Microsoft recently made the most expensive deal with Activision Blizzard, the publisher behind Call of Duty and Candy Crush. The deal for $68.7 billion is the largest gaming acquisition in history. While Microsoft plans to expand the gaming titles under its Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass following this deal, gamers can get the flavour of 'as many Activision Blizzard' games as it can within two subscription services. Besides adding titles to Xbox Game Pass, the company seems to expand its horizon in the controversial metaverse platform. “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,” Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft said.


Microsoft yesterday announced its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The deal will conclude in 2023, which is when the transition will complete. Just a few hours after the announcement, the US government’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched a joint review of antitrust merger guidelines. Also Read - Window 11 update: Microsoft to roll out Android apps to 5 new countries

Under this joint review, the DOJ and FTC will go over the merger guidelines to improve the ability of antitrust agencies to assess “unlawful mergers” and enforce regulations. The joint review was announced by FTC chair Lina Khan during a joint livestream. Also Read - Microsoft working on a low-cost streaming device to compete with Apple TV

Due to the massive size of this deal, it was expected that relevant authorities would come in play. During an interview with VentureBeat, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick did touch on the topic stating Microsoft will “drive the bus, obviously, on the antitrust issues,” when he was inquired about the implications of the deal.

It is worth noting, that the timing of the announcement of the review seems a bit suspicious, considering that it was announced within hours of the biggest deal in the history of the gaming industry being announced. It remains to be seen what changes will the review bring about and how they will affect Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

After the DOJ and FTC joint livestream ended and the Q&A section was opened, questions regarding the Microsoft Activision Blizzard deal were raised. However, both the DOJ and FTC refused to comment.

While a lot of questions are being raised related to Microsoft’s plans for this deal, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has been stating that this deal is not meant to “pull communities away” from PlayStation. However, people are still having trust issues considering that similar language was used by the company following the acquisition of Bethesda. But as we all know, the company after the deal was completed announced that it will be converting some of the most popular titles to Xbox exclusives. Similar treatment with some Activision games is also expected.

Moreover, it is also known that the Game Pass will soon get the whole Activision Blizzard library.

Apart from the DOJ and FTC, we also expect the deal to be reviewed by authorities from other countries too, including the European Commission.

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  • Published Date: January 19, 2022 10:19 PM IST



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