Microsoft says it expects full antitrust review of $3.6 billion deal

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Microsoft says it expects full antitrust review of $3.6 billion deal

The deal could cause competition to be lessened, or create expectations that it might, according to the probe into what would be Microsoft's biggest acquisition in its history.

Lisa Tanzi, corporate vice president general counsel at Microsoft, said in a statement Wednesday that they expect and think it's appropriate for regulators to take a close look at the acquisition. We have been clear about how we plan to run our gaming business and why we believe that the deal will benefit gamers, developers, and the industry. Tanzi said that we are committed to answering questions from regulators and that we believe a thorough review will help the deal close with broad confidence, and that it will be positive for competition. We remain confident that the deal will close as originally anticipated in fiscal year 2023. The UK Competition and Markets Authority CMA is inviting public input on the matter until July 20 as part of the inquiry. The CMA may decide whether a more detailed investigation is warranted or not. The agency has a September deadline to make a decision, though the exact date could be changed. Microsoft hopes to be the third-largest game publisher in the world after Tencent and Sony, because it wants to anticipate regulatory scrutiny surrounding its deal. In February, Sony announced that it is buying Bungie, a game studio, for $3.6 billion, in another deal that adds to industry consolidation. Microsoft has gone on a global charm offensive to preempt regulatory concerns. In February, it announced several commitments that it will apply to its gaming business to head off any concerns that it could give it anticompetitive leverage over game publishers or software developers, an allegation that Apple and Google have been plagued with. Microsoft President Brad Smith told reporters at the time that it was important to step forward quickly and proactively and be transparent about how we will manage this business, with a clear eye to the competition law issues and responsibilities that we have.