The US Federal Trade Commission has opened an investigation into Sony’s acquisition of Bungie, Josh Sisco of <a href="https://www.theinformation.com/articles/ftc-opens-inquiry-into-sonys-3-6-billion-bungie-gaming-purchase" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Information</a> reports. Sisco’s sources describe the investigation as “in-depth,” and while Sisco believes the deal could go through anyway, he notes the investigation signifies a new normal for the FTC, which he says was previously less involved in reviewing mergers.
Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier echoes Sisco’s view and said it means future deals will likely face greater scrutiny from the commission. “The FTC didn’t even look at Microsoft’s $7.5 billion deal of Bethesda,” Schreier says on Twitter. “This is far from standard procedure. In fact, [as far as I know] it’s unusual for the FTC to be this heavily involved in anti-trust at all (AT&T-Time Warner was challenged by the [Department of Justice].)”
Schreier ascribes the FTC’s changed stance on antitrust cases to Lina Khan, the commission’s new chairperson who Schreier describes as “hungry to fight tech consolidation”. Khan isn’t alone in wanting to push back against consolidation in the tech sector, though. The FTC’s investigation into Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is spurred in part by appeals from a handful of U.S. senators and concerned activists.
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