UK Launched Investigation into Microsoft’s $69-Billion Purchase of Activision

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

Antitrust watchdog of the United Kingdom has launched an investigation into the planned 69-billion dollars purchase of Activision Blizzard Inc. by Microsoft Corp. joining several other regulators in scrutinizing the deal of video game.

On Wednesday, July 6, 2022, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the United Kingdom, said it will consider whether the deal will possibly harm competition, and it lead to higher prices or decreased choice. The regulator of the United Kingdom said it will work with several counterparts across the world and has itself set a primary deadline of September 1, 2022 to decide whether to launch an investigation.

The CMA has long advocated for a forceful approach to review the deals, particularly by the largest technology companies. The regulators are closely looking at how the Microsoft’s ownership of Activision can harm their rivals by limiting their access to the biggest games of the company.

This deal is also examined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). A spokesperson from Microsoft Corp. did not comment immediately on the probe. The Activision investigation by FTC will focus on the combination of the gaming portfolio of the company with consoles and hardware systems of Microsoft Corp.

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US lawmakers have also urged the FTC to closely monitor and examine how the deal will impact workers at Activision, who have called for more accountability at the company in the wake of discrimination allegations and sexual harassment.