Microsoft Set to Finalize $68.7 Billion Acquisition of Activision Blizzard
After a 20-month-long saga, Microsoft is reportedly set to complete its acquisition of Activision Blizzard on October 13, according to sources familiar with the matter. The announcement of the acquisition was made by Microsoft in January 2022, but the company has faced various challenges along the way, including competition and regulatory concerns.
Overcoming Regulatory Hurdles
One major obstacle Microsoft had to overcome was the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which blocked the deal in April. The CMA had concerns about the impact of the acquisition on competitors in the cloud gaming space. To address this, Microsoft sold the cloud gaming rights for Activision Blizzard’s games to Ubisoft. This move satisfied the CMA, leading to their preliminary approval of the deal.
The CMA’s deadline for opinions on the deal expired recently, and the final decision is expected next week, unless there are any last-minute changes.
A Potential Roadblock from the FTC
While the CMA remains the most significant hurdle, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also questions the deal’s impact on competition and consumers. The FTC sued to block the acquisition last year but failed to secure a preliminary injunction. The FTC is appealing this decision and plans to resume its case after the court makes its ruling. Even if the deal is closed next week, the FTC could potentially attempt to undo it. However, undoing a deal is more challenging than cancelling it beforehand, so the likelihood of the FTC’s success appears slim.
Recommended: Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019