Microsoft Corporations proposed $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc. is likely to receive a close look from antitrust enforcers in the US and abroad at a time when they have stepped up scrutiny of proposed mergers, especially in the tech sector, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The deal comes at a time of robust debate in Washington about whether the government should do more to restrain the nation’s largest and most powerful tech companies, the report said.
Despite Microsoft’s size and role in the US economy, as well as its history in the antitrust crosshairs in the 1990s, it has largely avoided the spotlight this time around, the report added.
The US Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and members of US Congress have instead focused on alleged threats to competition presented by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon.com, Apple Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook, WSJ reported.
Shares in Japanese technology giant Sony have slumped in Tokyo trade after Microsoft said it plans to buy mega games company Activision Blizzard, the BBC reported.
The deal would be Microsoft’s biggest ever buyout and the largest deal in gaming history, the report said.
It would see the US firm owning popular gaming franchises including Call of Duty, Warcraft and Overwatch.
The deal would be a major step for Microsoft’s Xbox gaming brand in its battle against Sony’s PlayStation, the report said.
It also comes a year after Microsoft bought another influential gaming company, Bethesda, for $7.5 billion.
Buying the troubled but successful Activision would turn Microsoft into the world’s third-biggest gaming company by revenue, behind China’s Tencent and Sony, marking a major shift for the industry, the report said.