Game-Changer: Microsoft’s $75 Billion Activision Takeover Gets the Go-Ahead!

  • A federal judge ruled that Microsoft can proceed with its $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a setback for the Biden administration’s attempt to regulate big mergers.
  • The deal combines Microsoft’s Xbox gaming business with Activision Blizzard, known for franchises like Call of Duty and Candy Crush.
  • The ruling means there is no current obstacle in the U.S. to the merger, but the companies still need approval from the U.K.
  • The judge stated that the FTC failed to show how Microsoft’s ownership of Activision games would harm competition in the gaming markets.
  • Microsoft shares remained largely unchanged, while Activision shares rose 10% after the ruling.
  • The FTC has the option to appeal the ruling and continue its challenge to block the deal.
  • Microsoft is committed to addressing regulatory concerns and believes the merger will benefit consumers and workers, according to company statements.
  • The acquisition is important for Microsoft to expand its presence in mobile gaming and strengthen its subscription service, Game Pass.
  • Critics of the deal express concerns about Microsoft’s potential control over popular franchises like Call of Duty and its impact on competitors.
  • Microsoft offered to make Call of Duty accessible to rival console makers and cloud-gaming companies over a 10-year period.
  • Microsoft has been actively engaging with lawmakers, industry events, and the public to support its case for the merger.
  • The decision echoes Microsoft’s strategy of using acquisitions to diversify its business and expand into new markets.
  • The FTC, under Chair Lina Khan, has been taking a more aggressive approach to antitrust enforcement.
  • The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority initially rejected the acquisition but is now open to considering proposals from Microsoft to address its concerns.
  • The companies face a July 18 deadline for the original deal, and Activision may seek to renegotiate the financial terms.

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