The FTC reportedly investigating Sony’s Bungie buyout

sony buys bungie

The US Federal Trade Commission is reportedly set to investigate and scrutinise Sony’s planned $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie. With similar reports about Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, industry watchers are keen to see whether major acquisitions such as this will be allowed to continue.

The report comes from The Information – which is a rather good name for a website if you ask me – and does highlight a shift in how the FTC is viewing mergers and acquisitions in big tech and, by extension, gaming. Under the previous administration, the FTC sat on its hands as Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda went through without a hitch – this was completed in March 2021 shortly after Joe Biden assumed office and around the time that FTC chair Lina Khan was appointed to the body.

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Since then, there’s been plenty of talk about how they’re going to be much tougher on the tech industry’s M&A, and the FTC did sue to block Nvidia’s $40 billion acquisition of British semiconductor designer Arm. Nvidia eventually gave up on their effort before it could go through the courts, in the first major result for this policy. We’ll have to wait and see how the Activision Blizzard acquisition is handled, though the deal has been greenlit by ABK shareholders.

The Bungie buyout was announced back in January, with Sony making numerous pledges and promises for the company’s future. Sony has been seeking to bolster their multiplayer gaming portfolio – there’s a plan to release 10 live service games in the next few years – with Bungie working on a handful of new IP in addition to the evergreen Destiny 2. However, those games might not become PlayStation exclusives, as the two companies have assured fans that Bungie will remain an independently run, self-publishing company, albeit now with the financial backing of Sony.

Source: The Information

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