Despite what Bobby Kotick tells you on the down low, the impending $67.8B Microsoft takeover of Activision Blizzard may not be on track to happen according to schedule after all. Politico is reporting that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission looks “likely” to file an antitrust lawsuit in the coming days to block the deal.
“A lawsuit would be the FTC’s biggest move yet under Chair Lina Khan to rein in the power of the world’s largest technology companies,” Politico writes. “Central to the FTC’s concerns is whether acquiring Activision would give Microsoft an unfair boost in the video game market.”
The FTC isn’t the only government agency that’s been investigating this deal; the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has been scrutinizing the takeover and looking for evidence of any negative impact to the industry.
“Any suggestion that the transaction could lead to anticompetitive effects is completely absurd,” an Activision-Blizzard rep told Kotaku. “This merger will benefit gamers and the U.S. gaming industry, especially as we face increasingly stiff competition from abroad. We are committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but won’t hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if required.”
If the deal did go forward as planned, it would close in June 2023.