The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is expected to rule on Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard next month. The regulator is now listening to concerns that other parties have about this deal.

The FTC review is still at the staff level, according to Dealreporter. It is expected to pass through the Bureau of Competition and be handed over to the commissioners within the next few weeks.

Two sources told Dealreporter that the FTC has “significant concerns about the transaction.” It is now in talks with Microsoft’s rivals like Sony and Google to hear what issues they have with the $68.7 billion deal.

With all this in mind, the FTC’s final decision might come in late November.

Tensions rise over Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard

  • Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is now under scrutiny in the EU. According to a European Commission filing on September 30, regulators will rule on the proposed deal by November 8.
  • The Commission might open a four-month investigation into Microsoft because it has serious concerns about the potential antitrust nature of this deal.
  • SIE boss Jim Ryan reportedly met with the European Commission last month to publicly express his concerns about the Activision Blizzard acquisition.
  • The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) also has issues with this deal, saying that it could affect competition by harming Microsoft’s rivals and making Activision Blizzard exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem.
  • The CMA launched a second, in-depth phase of its investigation last month. The deadline for the ruling is set for March 1, 2023, with main hearings expected in December 2022.
  • Earlier this year, Brazilian regulators raised their concerns and asked several game publishers to comment on the acquisition. Sony loudly criticized the deal, saying that no company other than Activision could make a Call of Duty rival.
  • Despite all the regulatory pressure, Microsoft remains “very confident” about the deal. The company’s CEO Satya Nadella still expects the transaction to close early next year.

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