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U.S. regulators seek more info on Microsoft’s $68.7B Activision Blizzard acquisition

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Microsoft is proposing to acquire Activision Blizzard, the gaming giant behind such franchises as Warcraft Diablo, Overwatch, Call of Duty and Candy Crush. (Microsoft Image)

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission asked Microsoft and Activision Blizzard “for additional information and documentary material” for its review of the tech giant’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of the game developer.

The request, made by the FTC on March 5, was disclosed by Activision Blizzard on Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It’s a customary step for such a large merger review, and doesn’t necessarily point to the potential for the FTC to attempt to block or put conditions on the deal.

Activision Blizzard said in the filing that it expects the deal to be completed in Microsoft’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2023, which is the same timeline that the companies gave in the initial January announcement.

Shareholders of Activision Blizzard will vote on the deal in a special meeting slated for April 28.

The deal would be the largest acquisition in the Redmond company’s history, eclipsing its $26 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2017. Adding to its existing Windows PC and Xbox gaming businesses, Microsoft says it will become the third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony.

Microsoft in February issued a series of “Open App Store Principles” for its Windows Store and its future games marketplaces, seeking to preempt one of the likely regulatory objections to the deal.

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