The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be investigating Microsoft‘s acquisition of Activision Blizzard to see if the deal constitutes unfair competition. The FTC will be investigating the deal instead of the Justice Department.
The FTC has recently been advocating for harsher rules when it comes to big acquisitions or mergers in the technology space, setting the stage for a possible conflict with Microsoft’s purchase. Current Chair Lina Khan, has been vocal about her stance against big tech companies and has already sued to block two major takeovers when Nvidia tried to buy Arm Ltd and when Lockheed Martin Corp.’s deal to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc.
Last month the agency, alongside the Justice Department, announced that they would be launching a review of current antitrust merger guidelines. The announcement came only a few hours after Microsoft announced its plan to acquire Activision.
President Joe Biden has also been vocal about strengthing antitrust laws in the country and has nominated several antitrust advocates to positions within the Justice Department and other government agencies.
Both the FTC and Microsoft have yet to comment on the Activision deal in regards to possible antitrust issues, but current Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said that Microsoft would be in charge of handling any potential antitrust issues.