Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard isn't expected to push through until next year. If we believe what a recent report is claiming, the Federal Trade Commission will have a ruling ready by late November.
Seeking Alpha reveals that the inquiry by the US regulatory will progress from the staff level all the way through the Bureau of Competition and the commissions before December.
The report adds that FTC staff have raised their concerns about the acquisition, which is said to be worth $68.7 billion. The regulator has reportedly been dealing with several competitors who are opposed to the idea of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard merging, specifically Sony.
FTC's investigation is believed to be focused on the consumer data and how the buyout will affect the labor market as well as how it will impact the several cases of harassment and discrimination lodged against Activision Blizzard.
The video game industry has seen an increase in consolidation in the past few years. Case in point, Sony has acquired Bungie while the Embracer Group paid a relatively paltry sum to acquire Square Enix and its western subsidiaries. However, unlike the Microsoft acquisition, these deals don't involve as many zeroes.
The closest one is Take-Two Interactive's recent coup involving Zynga. But, the rumor mill is full of talk that Saudi Arabia will have a thing or two to say about it as it moves to acquire a leading game publisher.
At the end of the day, the FTC is just one of the several competition watchdogs scrutinizing the multi-billion deal. The UK and European competition regulators have set deadlines of March 1 and November 8, respectively.