The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has opened 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 whopping $70 billion, the federal agency is also looking into.
According to the report from InformationSources familiar with the matter said the FTC’s latest poll demonstrates its aggressive approach to consolidation in the tech sector, especially those taking place on the gaming side. Credit for the propensity to scrutinize acquisitions in the gaming industry goes to Lina Khan, whom President Joe Biden appointed as FTC Chair last year.
The FTC’s main concern with Sony’s acquisition of Bungie is about whether it will make its games exclusive to the PlayStation platform, particularly on the new PS Plus subscription service, once the deal closes. end or not. It seems to be to explore whether that monopoly hinders competition with rival companies, such as Microsoft and Nintendo. Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, made it clear in a blog post announced on the same day, the company announced the merger that Bungie will retain its status as an independent and cross-platform game studio and publisher even after the deal closes. Bungie even hinted that the reason for the merger was to expand the company’s entertainment prospects outside of games.
The federal investigation may not completely block the deal, but it could potentially delay the closure by six months or more, possibly pushing the closure date to 2023. Sony is expected to close the deal with Bungie later this year.