Microsoft is reportedly facing prolonged investigations into its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard in both the UK and Europe.
Last week, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said its inquiry into the $68.7 billion merger may be expanded to a second phase due to a number of antitrust concerns.
Notably, it said it was worried about the impact the deal could have on PlayStation’s ability to compete, given that the deal would see Microsoft gain ownership of the Call of Duty series.
According to the Financial Times, the CMA is expected to officially expand its antitrust probe this week after Microsoft chose not to offer any remedies to its concerns at this stage.
Phase two of the CMA’s investigation would see it appoint an independent panel to scrutinise the deal in further detail and evaluate if it’s more likely than not to result in a substantial lessening of competition.
According to the FT, regulators and others involved in the deal are also expecting a lengthy EU probe once Microsoft officially files its case in Brussels soon.
“It is a big deal, a difficult deal,” a Brussels source said to be familiar with the transaction told the publication. “It needs an extensive investigation.”