The US antitrust review of Microsoft Corp's $68.7 billion proposed acquisition of "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard Inc will be handled by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Bloomberg News reported late on Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The FTC, instead of the Justice Department, will investigate whether the takeover will harm competition, the report said.
Microsoft, Activision and FTC did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
The deal announced by Microsoft in January is its biggest-ever and is set to be the largest all-cash acquisition on record. It will bolster Microsoft's firepower in the booming videogaming market where it takes on leaders Tencent Holdings Ltd and Sony Group Corp.
In a wave of consolidations sweeping the gaming sector, Sony said on Monday it will acquire Bungie Inc, the original creator of the "Halo" videogame and developer of "Destiny", in a deal valued at $3.6 billion.
In a bid to toughen merger guidelines, the FTC and the Justice Department had last month issued a joint statement saying that industries had become increasingly concentrated and a surge in merger filings in 2020 and 2021 signaled the situation will worsen.
Days later, the FTC voted unanimously to sue to block arms maker Lockheed Martin's proposed $4.4 billion purchase of rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc over antitrust concerns. (Reporting by Shivam Patel and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Arun Koyyur)