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FTC regulators reportedly set to sue to block Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal

The FTC is reportedly set to pursue a restraining order to block Microsoft's acquisition deal of gaming developer Activision-Blizzard. Yahoo Finance tech editor Dan Howley has the details on that story as well as a Bloomberg report that European Union regulators may file an antitrust complaint against Google.

Video Transcript

- The Federal Trade Commission reportedly planning new action to block the Microsoft Activision Blizzard deal. Yahoo Finance tech editor Dan Howley here with the details. Dan, just another regulatory hurdle it looks like for this deal, if it's ever going to get done.

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah. This is kind of the 1-2 punch are the US and the UK. And so this would be a federal lawsuit. The idea here is, yes, the FTC is already suing Microsoft to block the deal. This is to prevent them from going ahead and completing it while the FTC's own court deals with the initial suit. So it's not-- it's secondary but it's just really to stop them from being able to go ahead and completing the purchase anyway. Over in the UK, we have the Competition and Markets Authority, they're also trying to stop the deal.


Microsoft is appealing it there to try to move it through, but this is really kind of the two hurdles that the company has to overcome to be able to put this deal together. Some of the experts that I've spoken to in the past have said, look, if the UK can't get done, the UK can't get done. They will just work around that. They'll continue to operate as separate entities there. And that's it. The US needs to get done. It's such a massive market for gaming that if they left that out, it would be absurd.

So the FTC issue I think is really the main one. And we'll have to find out later this year if Microsoft can beat this or if they can win this appeal. And I mean, right now, it's difficult to say one way or the other.

- Right. Yeah. I mean, these tech heavyweights continue to face this scrutiny. I mean, Microsoft not the only one facing these kind of antitrust headwinds. You also have Google in the crosshairs reportedly considering a new complaint-- European regulators against Google's advertising technology. What can you tell us about that?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, so this is just another kind of issue that Google Alphabet is facing in the EU, the European Commission apparently, as early as Wednesday, going to file some kind of antitrust argument against Google and Alphabet. That would be kind of the latest in a long series of actions that the European Commission has taken against Alphabet over the years, resulting in billions of dollars in fines. So we'll just have to see what this issue is it has to do apparently. According to this report by Bloomberg with the ad business, I mean, it's so massive for them it could be any number of things.

But that's their bread and butter. That drives I think it's 80% of their overall revenue. So any hit there is a gut punch for them for sure.

- Well, we'll certainly keep watching that. All of them continuing landing in the crosshairs of European regulators. Dan Howley, thank you so much.