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Microsoft's Activision Buyout Might Be Prohibited, Expert Warns

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Microsoft's Activision Buyout Might Be Prohibited, Expert Warns

Assuming you’ve been on the internet at all in the last day or so, chances are you’ve heard the news by now, but just in case you hadn’t, yes, Microsoft are planning to buy out all of Activision, in what’s set to be the biggest video game acquisition of all time. As you might expect though, going through with a $68 billion dollar transaction isn’t as straightforward as just putting some account details in on your mobile banking app. 

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First reported by VGC, Gene Munster, the co-founder of tech investment firm Loup, spoke on CNBC’s Squawk Box to talk about the buyout, and he believes there could be some “drama” to come if the acquisition is to go ahead, specifically with lawmakers in Washington DC, who aim to maintain market competition.

Crash Bandicoot is just one of the IPs that Microsoft is set to own if the acquisition goes through.

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“I suspect that the legal advice and the banking advice that Microsoft and Activision have here is top shelf, no doubt, and so I think if DC doesn’t stand up and do something here, then you just kinda fast forward one, two years down the road and they start talking about greater regulation, I think most people won’t buy it, most companies won’t believe that they’re actually going to take control.

“And so I think that’s the disconnect, is this is really setting up for some good drama here around how this plays out.”

Basically, if you need a translation (I know I did), competition law regulates anti-competitive conduct by companies, and so when it comes to acquisitions, regulators (like those in Washington DC) can prohibit any deals that they consider are a threat to market competition. 

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Since this is such a huge acquisition and would very much raise red flags in regards to competition law, Munster believes regulators could potentially stand up to it in some capacity, to prove that they take the law seriously, so other companies don’t just assume they can get away with even more colossal deals. Overall though, he expects everything to go relatively smoothly: “In the end I think the deal gets done.” 

So there you have it, there’s still a chance that Crash and Spyro won’t be making their way over to rival territory, even though, let’s face it, we might as well expect that they are. Microsoft is set to be in possession of a whole lot of other IPs too, assuming the deal clears - check out the full list here. Game Pass is going to get crazy. 

Featured Image Credit: Toys for Bob, Activision

Topics: Activision, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, Xbox

Catherine Lewis
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