It is the FTC and not the United States Department of Justice that will examine the takeover of Activision by Microsoft, reveals Bloomberg. As a reminder, the amount of the purchase is 68.7 billion dollars, a record. For its part, Sony announced this week the acquisition of the Bungie studio (Halo, Destiny) for $3.6 billion.
FTC to review Microsoft takeover of Activision
The fact that the FTC is managing the Activision takeover file is not necessarily very good news for Microsoft. Indeed, Lina Khan, the chair of the US regulator, has long advocated for a tougher approach to reviewing takeovers, especially those of the biggest tech companies, which she says are able to take advantage of their dominance in one sector of activity in order to impose themselves on other markets. Under his leadership, the agency filed a lawsuit to block two major takeovers, namely Nvidia’s proposed purchase of ARM and Lockheed Martin’s takeover of Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Microsoft will therefore have to fight to get the green light for the takeover. The situation will be similar in other regions of the world where the various regulators will also have to validate or not the transaction. In Europe, the European Commission will give its decision. It is far from won, there have already been difficult takeovers. For example, Google had to make several changes to be validated for its acquisition of Fitbit.
Microsoft has already said it expects the Activision takeover to close by June 2023, so we still have time before we see if the FTC and other regulators will approve the deal.