The Government Is Looking Into Microsoft Acquiring Blizzard
The US Federal Trade Commission will be checking Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Blizzard to ensure that it doesn’t harm competition, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The Microsoft-Blizzard acquisition is reported to have cost $70 billion in December 2018. While the company has assured fans that they will continue to support Blizzard games on different platforms, there is a chance that this could lead them down an anti-competition path.
This is because the FTC has been known to take a harder stance against acquisitions which could negatively affect competition when compared to the Justice Department, which usually takes over antitrust reviews concerning other products and services. The deal is expected to go through by June 2023 unless any complications occur during the FTC’s review process.
Blizzard’s Strides in the Gaming Industry
Blizzard has some of the most popular gaming franchises ever created under their belt. The next Call of Duty game will be coming out in the Fall, just a year after Black Ops IV was released in 2018. Blizzard has also announced that Diablo Immortal is being developed for mobile devices only since Blizzard doesn’t have plans to develop it for PC at this time.
Blizzard’s biggest franchise, Overwatch, has also been around since 2016, and there are many passionate fans surrounding the game. While Microsoft’s Xbox division remains behind Sony when it comes to revenue, they are expected to gain more ground once Blizzard titles are brought over to their console.
What It Means for Blizzard and Sony Relations
Blizzard titles will be available on the PlayStation 4 as well, which is Blizzard’s main competitor. This means that there could be potential anti-competitive behavior happening if Blizzard games were to be pulled from the PS4 once they’re brought over to Xbox One consoles.
The FTC is expected to complete its review process by June 2025 in order for Blizzard games to remain on multiple platforms. If this deal goes through, Microsoft will have spent more money than what they have ever done before in order for them to acquire Blizzard which many people saw coming since it was only a matter of time before Activision Blizzard started looking for buyers with Blizzard being one of their most popular brands currently out.
With Sony being Blizzard’s main competitor in the gaming industry due to the number of Blizzard titles available on the PlayStation 4, there is a chance that Blizzard games may only receive their updates and patches for Sony’s console first if Microsoft were to pull Blizzard games from the PS4 once they’re brought over to Xbox One. Nevertheless, the Microsoft-Blizzard deal has been reported as “historic.”
Looking for More Insider Scoop?
Here’s what Microsoft CEO says about the deal.