Microsoft logo is seen on a smartphone placed on displayed Activision Blizzard’s games character.
Dado Ruvic | Reuters
The UK’s competition watchdog on Wednesday opened an investigation into Microsoft’s acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard.
It marks one of the first probes by a major antitrust enforcer into the $68.7 billion deal, which was announced in January.
The acquisition has huge implications for the $190 billion video game industry, handing control of incredibly lucrative franchises including Call of Duty, Candy Crush and Warcraft to one of the world’s biggest tech companies.
In a statement, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority said its investigation would “consider whether the deal could harm competition and lead to worse outcomes for consumers – for example, through higher prices, lower quality, or reduced choice.”
The CMA has set a Sept. 1 deadline for its initial decision. The regulator said it wants feedback from interest third parties, with a consultation running until Jul. 20, 2022.
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