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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick accuses Sony of 'trying to sabotage' Microsoft's takeover
Kotick also thinks the UK economy will suffer if its regulator blocks the $69bn deal
Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzards’s CEO, has weighed in with his own thoughts on Microsoft’s pending $69bn takeover – and it’s clear he’s not happy with regulators or Sony.
The controversial head of Activision Blizzard made several bold claims in an interview with the Financial Times, accusing the UK of having “a fragile government” and Sony of “trying to sabotage the transaction.”
The UK’s competition regulator, the CMA, has opposed Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar deal, just like the US Federal Trade Commission did in December. Kotick says the CMA has “been co-opted by the FTC ideology, and [are] not really using independent thought, or thinking about how this transaction would positively impact the UK”.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Activision Blizzard deal
😤 Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has some strong words for Sony and the UK government
The chief executive accused the UK government of being “fragile” and said Sony is “trying to sabotage” the deal
🚫 Kotick also said Sony has stopped responding to Microsoft’s calls since the deal was announced
🤞 However, Kotick is still confident the deal will go through in July 2023
Kotick’s harshest criticism was reserved for Sony, however, which has been staunchly opposed to the deal ever since it was announced. The Japanese company doesn’t want Microsoft to own Call of Duty and has called Microsoft’s promises “inadequate on many levels”.
“Suddenly, Sony’s entire leadership team stopped talking to anyone at Microsoft,” Kotick told the Financial Times, adding that his own calls to Sony executives were not returned.
“I think this is all Sony just trying to sabotage the transaction,” Kotick went on to say. “The whole idea that we are not going to support a PlayStation or that Microsoft would not support the PlayStation, it is absurd.” Microsoft has repeatedly stated it will not take Call of Duty away from PlayStation.
Kotick’s ire wasn’t just reserved for Sony, though. Kotick commented on the UK’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, calling him a “smart” man who “understands business”. However, he questioned Sunak’s ability to lead.
“It doesn’t seem like there is any real vision in the leadership for pursuing these kinds of opportunities,” Kotick said. “It seems like a bit of a fragile government. Where’s the leadership?” Kotick said the Activision Blizzard deal could create up to 5,000 jobs in the UK, which would benefit the economy.
In a response to a request for comment from the Financial Times, Sony denied Kotick’s claims of not speaking to Microsoft. “We are in contact with Microsoft and have no further comment regarding our private negotiations,” said a Sony spokesperson.
Will the Activision Blizzard deal go through, then? Kotick is still optimistic that the record-breaking deal will close by July 2023, but it faces stiff opposition from regulators and Sony.
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