Microsoft’s $69 billion Activision takeover faces competition probe in the UK

Microsoft logo is seen on a smartphone placed on displayed Activision Blizzard’s games character.

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

The UK’s competition watchdog on Wednesday opened an investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard.

It marks one of the first probes by a major antitrust enforcer into the $ 68.7 billion deal, which was announced in January.

The acquisition has huge implications for the $ 190 billion video game industry, handing control of incredibly lucrative franchises including Call of Duty, Candy Crush and Warcraft to one of the world’s biggest tech companies.

In a statement, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority said its investigation would “consider whether the deal could harm competition and lead to worse outcomes for consumers – for example, through higher prices, lower quality, or reduced choice.”

The CMA has set a Sept. 1 deadline for its initial decision. The regulator said it wants feedback from interest third parties, with a consultation running until Jul. 20, 2022.

This is a breaking news story, please check back later for more.

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