Microsoft Completes $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard following a thorough regulatory review

Microsoft completes $69B acquisition of Activision Blizzard after regulatory review.

Activision Blizzard’s $69 billion acquisition by Microsoft has been completed, the company announced in a regulatory filing on Friday. It’s the biggest deal Microsoft has ever made in its 48-year history, and it comes after the company allayed regulators’ concerns about competition in the U.K. and Europe and won a favorable decision from a U.S. district judge.

Early on, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority approved the deal, paving the way for the closing.

With the acquisition, Microsoft gains access to a wide range of popular video game franchises, including Warcraft, Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Diablo, Overwatch, StarCraft, and Tony Hawk Pro Skater. In its most recent fiscal year, the game developer brought in $7.5 billion in revenue, which was a pittance compared to Microsoft’s $212 billion in sales.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer wrote in a blog post, “Today we start the work to bring beloved Activision Blizzard, and King Franchises to Game Pass and other platforms.” In the upcoming months, “we’ll share more about when you can expect to play.”

Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision Blizzard, will continue in his position until the end of the year.

Satya Nadella, the company’s new CEO, wants to expand Microsoft’s business beyond its traditional pillars of productivity software and operating systems. Activision has been both a rival and a business associate of Microsoft. It’s one of the few big companies that put out well-liked games, the creation of which can cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

The acquisition was delayed by regulatory opposition. Microsoft stated its intention to complete the transaction by the end of June 2023 when it first announced the agreement in January 2022. The two businesses decided to extend the deadline to October 18 in July.

The transaction was criticized by the European Commission, the British Competition and Markets Authority, and the American Federal Trade Commission.

Microsoft offered reassurances to European regulators. The agency took the case to the U.S. Appeals Court for the 9th Circuit, which denied a motion to temporarily stop the consummation of the deal. Getting along with U.K. officials was more difficult. Microsoft stated in August that, assuming the agreement was finalized, game publisher Ubisoft would be granted 15 years of cloud streaming rights for Activision’s games. The CMA stated on September 22 that the proposal’s modification should allay any concerns people may have had with the deal.

By ITBusinessInfo@