Microsoft first announced its plans to purchase Activision Blizzard in January 2022. Over 13 months later, the deal is still going through regulatory bodies. Acquisitions of this size always take some time to face scrutiny and to be looked at by governing bodies, but Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard purchase has faced more pushback than some deals.
Sony has lobbied hard against Microsoft purchasing Activision Blizzard. As a rival of Microsoft, it’s hard to take Sony’s criticisms of the deal as good faith efforts. Microsoft’s Frank Shaw accused Sony of lying to the European Union about the deal.
Our managing editor Jez Corden argued that Sony knows it won’t lose Call of Duty exclusivity to Xbox but that the pushback is about competition.
But Sony being accused of poor intentions doesn’t mean Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard will go through. The US, UK, and EU are all looking at the deal closely.
We’d like to know if you think the deal will go through or not. Of course, we can’t guarantee anything, but we’ve seen enough evidence presented at this point to get a feel.
Windows Central take
I don’t have any insider knowledge about what will happen with Microsoft’s plans to purchase Activision Blizzard. I just have a bad feeling about the deal. I think the FTC wants to block the Microsoft deal regardless of any arguments made by Microsoft, Sony, or trade unions.
The FTC allowed several controversial mergers in the past, and it seems like the body is determined to put a stop to large mergers with Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard being used to set an example.
My colleague Brendan Lowry shared his thoughts when it was reported that the FTC timed its opposition to Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard to manipulate the EU:
“So, does the FTC really care about the consumers that would be affected by this deal? So far, I think the answer is a clear no. And that answer isn’t going to change until it starts acting in good faith.”
I don’t see any reason to believe that the FTC has changed its thought process.