Microsoft’s $69B Activision Blizzard Acquisition Nears Completion
September 22, 2023
The Tech Acquisition Milestone
The most significant tech acquisition in American history is nearing completion after several regulatory hurdles on a global scale. Microsoft’s $69B acquisition of Activision Blizzard is set to turn the gaming participant into a formidable gaming giant. The Xbox creators will soon be the proud owners of prominent gaming franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Microsoft has taken considerable steps to address the concerns regarding its new market positioning, pledging to “help bring more games to more people” and “create more opportunities for gamers and game developers”.
The Journey to Approval
Acquiring regulatory approval for the deal wasn’t a simple feat, and the regulatory path after the transaction’s introduction in January 2022 was full of obstacles. Microsoft finally won approval in the EU, China, and other markets, but had a drawn-out battle with the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. and the Competition and Markets Authority in the U.K. After suffering several court losses, the FTC’s lawsuit was eventually dropped. Microsoft re-applied for the merger in the UK with solutions that included the divestiture of cloud rights associated with PC and console games.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Now, it seems the lengthy process may finally be reaching a successful conclusion. The U.K. declared it now identifies “reasonable grounds” for the merger, and the revised proposal “opens the door” to the deal getting fully sanctioned after collecting third-party feedback. This news has positively impacted the stock market, with shares of Activision Blizzard rising 2% to $94 per share in pre-market trading, close to the $95 price that Microsoft initially proposed when it announced the landmark transaction nearly two years ago. SA analyst The Gaming Dividend recently stated that ATVI was a sound investment whether the deal went through or not, but it appears investors now have their confirmation.
Implications for Activision
So, what’s the benefit for Activision? “As I stated when we publicized the deal, this transaction will facilitate our acceleration towards the future of gaming and empower us to serve our players better,” stated CEO Bobby Kotick in a fresh email to employees. “Microsoft acknowledges the dedication to excellence and creative independence that has benefited us for the past 30 years. I have no doubt that their resources, technology, and tools will offer us even more chances to develop even superior games.”