The FTC has launched an investigation into Sony’s $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie, a video game developer behind the immensely popular Destiny franchise.
The federal agency is also reviewing Microsoft’s $70 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard.
The Federal Trade Commission’s latest probe shows the government agency’s firm stance toward mergers in the technology sector, particularly gaming companies.
Credit for this new approach from the FTC goes to Lina Khan, whom President Joe Biden appointed to become the FTC Chair last year.
Scoop: 🎮 🕵️♀️The FTC is diving deeper into the video game industry, opening a probe of Sony’s $3.6b deal for Bungie, the studio behind first person shooter Destiny. It follows the in depth investigation of Microsoft’s $69b deal for Activision Blizzard.https://t.co/aHqhLrzvD4— Josh Sisco (@joshua_sisco) May 5, 2022
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is concerned that Sony’s acquisition of Bungie will make the game studio’s games exclusive to Sony’s PlayStation platform.
The FTC is looking into whether or not such exclusivity would impede competition with rival companies, Microsoft and Nintendo.
In his blog post announcing the merger, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) Jim Ryan made it clear that once the deal is finalized, Bungie will still be an independent game development studio, working on games for multiple platforms.
Bungie has hinted that the reason for its recent merger with Sony is to expand its entertainment prospects beyond game development.
The federal investigation may not block the deal entirely, but it could push its closing date beyond the end of the year to as late as 2023.
Sony expects to close the deal with Bungie by the end of the year, but a delay caused by the investigation could cause problems for Sony’s timeline.
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