Microsoft's potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard could receive a major boost soon. If there is no opposition from sources within the next 30 days, the deal could receive FTC approval by next month. While there will be more work left following the FTC's approval, it would be a major relief for all parties involved.
The Federal Trade Commission routinely observes all potential deals with a valuation over a certain threshold. When the potential deal was announced in January 2022, it sent the entire gaming industry into a frenzy.
The deal, worth nearly $70 billion, would be one of the biggest in the world. Microsoft and Activision estimate that it could take them until the middle of June to complete the process.
The FTC could approve Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard in the next month
The Federal Trade Commission had asked for all the required information from the invested parties back in March. Reportedly, Microsoft has provided the details.
While it is unclear whether Activision Blizzard has submitted the details, the 30-day period seems imminent. The FTC will pore over the deal's details in this time frame. However, there are still some caveats that the FTC could find in a deeper study.
The Federal Body can either make some amendments to the agreement or obstruct the deal by filing an injunction in court. However, it has always seemed quite unlikely for the FTC to do so, considering the grounds on which it usually objects to a deal.
A common case that has been cited is Nvidia's failed acquisition of ARM, as many felt the same could happen. However, there is a major difference in the deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.
Typically, the FTC ensures the existence of fair competition in every sphere of the industry. It tries to prevent any deal that could reduce competition and lead to market monopolization in an unhealthy or unfair way.
With Nvidia and ARM, any deal would have given the former a clear monopoly as the majority of mobile chips come from the latter. It would have created a lopsided playing field for Nvidia as they would control the entire mobile chip market.
While the deal will give Microsoft some amazing titles, they are not the only ones who dominate the gaming industry. Games like Destiny 2, for example, now belong to Sony, while Pokemon is exclusive to Nintendo. Moreover, there is no indication that Call of Duty will become an Xbox exclusive.
At no stage has it ever looked like Microsoft could create an unfair playing field. However, approval of the FTC will make it even more certain, and it could help to make the case for the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The CMA is the UK's version of FTC and played a role in obstructing the Nvidia-ARM deal. It is likely to announce its decision by September of this year, and a green chit from the FTC will make the process easier.
Fans hope that Activision Blizzard will provide the details soon, which will allow the FTC to start the inspections. While there has been a sense of skepticism, Microsoft has always looked sharp about the potential success of the deal.
Disclaimer: Microsoft or Activision Blizzard have not confirmed the news. Hence, readers are advised to take the information with a pinch of salt.