June 24, 2024


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U.S. FTC to review Microsoft’s $68.7 bln deal for Activision – Bloomberg News

Microsoft logo is seen on a smartphone placed on displayed Activision Blizzard logo in this illustration taken January 18, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Jan 31 (Reuters) – The U.S. antitrust review of Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) $68.7 billion proposed acquisition of “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI.O) will be handled by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Bloomberg News reported late on Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The FTC, instead of the Justice Department, will investigate whether the takeover will harm competition, the report said.

In a bid to toughen merger guidelines, the FTC and the Justice Department had last month jointly said that industries had become increasingly concentrated and a surge in merger filings in 2020 and 2021 signaled the situation will worsen. read more

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Days later, the FTC voted unanimously to sue to block arms maker Lockheed Martin’s (LMT.N) proposed $4.4 billion purchase of rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings (AJRD.N) over antitrust concerns. read more

Microsoft, Activision and FTC did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The deal announced by Microsoft in January is its biggest-ever and is set to be the largest all-cash acquisition on record. It will bolster Microsoft’s firepower in the booming videogaming market where it takes on leaders Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) and Sony Group Corp (6758.T). read more

Meanwhile, Sony said on Monday it will acquire Bungie Inc, the original creator of the “Halo” videogame and developer of “Destiny”, in a deal valued at $3.6 billion, the latest in a wave of consolidations sweeping the gaming sector. read more

Microsoft has so far avoided the type of scrutiny faced by Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O)and Meta Platforms Inc (FB.O), but this deal, which would make it the world’s third largest gaming company, will put the Xbox maker on lawmakers’ radars, said Andre Barlow of the law firm Doyle, Barlow & Mazard LLC after the deal was announced. read more

Reuters previously reported that Microsoft would pay a $3 billion break-fee if the deal falls through, according to a source familiar with the matter, suggesting the company was confident of winning antitrust approval.

Microsoft and Activision gave themselves until June 2023 to complete the transaction. read more

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Reporting by Shivam Patel and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Arun Koyyur

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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