UK Probes Microsoft’s $69 Billion Purchase of Activision

The UK antitrust watchdog kicked off an investigation into Microsoft Corp.’s planned purchase of Activision Blizzard Inc. joining other regulators in scrutinizing the $69 billion gaming deal.

The Competition and Markets Authority said Wednesday it will consider whether the deal to combine the technology giant with the maker of the Call of Duty franchise, will harm competition and lead to higher prices or reduced choice. The regulator said it will work with counterparts around the world and set itself an initial deadline of Sept. 1 to decide whether to launch an in-depth investigation.