Proposed acquisition of struggling Call of Duty and Candy Crush game company Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion (£50.5 billion) is under investigation.
The take over all cash will give the Xbox maker a giant leap into mobile games and “play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” according to Microsoft boss Satya Nadella.
If the deal is approved by regulators, it would make Microsoft the third-largest gaming company in the world by revenue, but multiple competition regulators are currently investigating.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it would engage with its partners around the world “when appropriate” and would make a decision in the Phase 1 investigation in 40 business days or September 1st.
At the end of the Phase 1 investigation, the CMA will decide whether the merger could harm competition – if this is the case, the CMA will be required to initiate an in-depth Phase 2 review.
Activision shares have fallen nearly 40% since hitting a record high last year after allegations of widespread sexual harassment and other misconduct out light.
Microsoft said Activision CEO Bobby Kotick – who has even faced calls to leave employees because of his handling of complaints – will continue to fill the role.
Activision said that while work on resolving the issues continues, it has laid off or laid off more than 36 employees and disciplined 40 others.
Microsoft’s move is seen as giving it an edge over fierce console rival Sony – the maker of PlayStation – because of its expanding game library.
Their gaming investments in recent years include the $7.5 billion acquisition of Minecraft maker Mojang Studios.