Last month, Microsoft announced its intent to purchase Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion dollars. The deal is a massive one, and it could be a huge benefit to the Xbox brand, most notably for its Game Pass subscription service. However, there might be a hurdle to overcome, first. According to sources for Bloomberg, the United States Federal Trade Commission will be reviewing the purchase, in order to gauge the deal's impact on Microsoft's competition. Given the size of Microsoft's purchase, it's hardly surprising, particularly since congressman Jerrold "Jerry" Nadler weighed-in on the deal back in January.
It's difficult to say how the FTC will rule on the deal. As GameSpot points out, the commission has blocked other planned tech acquisitions recently, including Nvidia's planned purchase of Arm, Ltd. That case was a bit more cut-and-dry, as it would have given Nvidia a significant advantage over all of its competition. That deal also saw heavy resistance from countries other than the U.S. With Phil Spencer claiming that Microsoft intends to keep Call of Duty games on PlayStation, it's hard to say if a similar case can be made.
Whatever happens, hopefully the FTC investigation will be a good thing for the video game industry. There are a lot of gamers concerned over Microsoft and Sony making too many major purchases, and there should be scrutiny when it comes to deals this big. There are a lot of potential positives that could come out of the Activision Blizzard purchase, both for consumers, and for the company's staff. However, it's easy to see the potential negatives, as well.
Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard is not set to go through until summer 2023, so it's unclear how long it might take for the FTC to finish the investigation and give its ruling. Of course, we don't even have an official announcement from the FTC, just yet. For now, gamers will just have to wait and see how things play out!
Do you think Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard will be approved by the FTC? Do you think the purchase would give Xbox an unfair competitive advantage? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!