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Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition could get FTC approval as early as August
Microsoft has reportedly responded to the request of the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for additional information on its pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard. If the FTC finds the added information sufficient, the deal could gain the regulatory body’s approval as soon as next month.
Recent reports claimed that Microsoft was able to respond to the FTC’s “Second Request” last week. This is where the commission asks the parties involved in an ongoing merger or acquisition for more information about the deal before it makes a decision.
Per the FTC’s website (via VGC), it will take an additional 30 days to review the response to the Second Request before the deal moves forward or before the FTC takes action on the proposal. The commission’s guidance, however, notes that both Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have to respond to the FTC’s Second Request.
But the reports only specifically mentioned Microsoft, and it is unclear if Activision Blizzard has already responded to the Second Request. With that, the supposed FTC approval in August could be the best-case scenario for the companies.
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard announced in January that they entered an acquisition deal, where the Xbox maker is buying the latter in an all-cash deal for $95 per share which amounts to $68.7 billion. Due to the magnitude of this agreement, both companies expected the acquisition to undergo review for about 18 months. It means the deal might not be finalized until mid-2023.
The massive acquisition is also facing scrutiny in other parts of the world. Earlier this month, the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation on Microsoft and Activision Blizzard’s agreement. The regulator told CNBC it is aiming to determine how the deal might affect market competition and if it could pose threats to the consumers “through higher prices, lower quality, or reduced choice.”
“We’re committed to answering questions from regulators and ultimately believe a thorough review will help the deal close with broad confidence, and that it will be positive for competition,” Microsoft corporate VP and general counsel Lisa Tanzi said. Tanzi added they “remain confident” that Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard can be completed next year. The CMA has set a Sept. 1 deadline for its initial findings.