Microsoft Logo 2022Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard will be investigated by the Federal Trade Commission in the United States, according to a report.
  • The FTC is generally more aggressive when reviewing mergers and acquisitions than the Justice Department.
  • The Justice Department and the FTC often come to a joint decision regarding which agency should look into proposed deals.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will review Microsoft's proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard, according to a report by Bloomberg. Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion last month. As is the case with any deal of this size and nature, the acquisition will have to go through a legal process to determine if it violates antitrust legislation. In this case, the FTC will review the purchase rather than the U.S. Justice Department, according to a source that spoke with Bloomberg.

Both the FTC and Justice Department are responsible for reviewing antitrust cases. The two agencies frequently work together to decide which one should investigate specific deals.

The FTC has expressed that it will be more aggressive regarding large mergers and acquisitions, though that doesn't indicate which way the commission will lean regarding Microsoft's planned purchase of Activision Blizzard.

The FTC sued to stop NVIDIA's purchase of Arm and Lockheed Martin's proposed purchase of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings.

The FTC has not responded to media requests for comment at the time of publication. Microsoft declined to comment to Bloomberg on the review of its planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft's announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard sent ripples throughout the gaming industry. Experts weighed in on the deal, as did the chief of the World Bank. Our Senior Editor Jez Corden also explained what the deal means for the Xbox platform and gaming in general.