Back in January, Microsoft announced its mega blockbuster acquisition of Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $68.7 billion — all paid in cash. The buyout was to expected by the end of the fiscal year 2023.
This deal sent shockwaves through the industry, as its successful completion would see Redmond bring multiple franchises under its portfolio. Popular titles like Diablo, Warcraft, StarCraft, Overwatch, to Call of Duty, Candy Crush and more are all in.
Given the scale of this purchase and its potential impact on the market, it has to go through several regulatory approvals before it is complete.
And it is.
While the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opened an investigation quickly, that is for the United States. Now, the United Kingdom government watchdog Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has begun its investigation of the matter.
From today until January 20, the regulator is inviting comments and feedback from any party on the transaction and whether it will result in a substantial lessening of competition within the UK market.
An initial decision will be reached by September 1.
Investigations into jumbo buyouts like these are a fairly common occurrence, especially with fears that a big merger might result in a monopoly. While the jury is still out both in the US and the UK, the general consensus is that the deal will go through without any major hurdle.
Should the deal fall through, however, the stocks of Activision Blizzard could spiral downwards with such intensity that they may never recover.
And while Microsoft expects the deal to close next year, investigations like this can change the timeline.