FTC to investigate Sony acquisition of Bungie

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched an investigation into Sony’s $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie. Sony announced plans to buy the studio behind Destiny on January 31, not even two weeks after Microsoft announced plans to buy Activision Blizzard for a monstrous $70 billion, which the federal agency is also reviewing.

According to a report by Information, sources close to the situation said the latest FTC investigation demonstrates its aggressive approach to consolidations within the technology sector, particularly those taking place on the gaming side. Credit for this penchant for scrutinizing gaming industry acquisitions goes to Lina Khan, whom President Joe Biden named FTC chairwoman last year.

The FTC’s main concern with Sony’s acquisition of Bungie is whether or not it will make its games exclusive to the PlayStation platform, especially on the new PS Plus subscription service, once the deal is done. . It seeks to determine whether or not such exclusivity would hinder competition with competing companies, such as Microsoft and Nintendo. Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, made it clear in a blog post released on the same day, the company announced the merger that Bungie will retain its status as an independent, cross-platform game studio and publisher even after the deal closes. Bungie even hinted that the reason for the merger was to expand its entertainment prospects outside of games.

The federal investigation may not block the deal entirely, but it could potentially delay its closing by six months or more, possibly pushing the closing date to 2023. Sony plans to complete the deal with Bungie by here the end of the year.

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