Activision Blizzard is confident Microsoft deal will close by June 2023
Activision Blizzard's CEO expects it to wrap up by the middle of next year
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Microsoft’s deal
✊ The CEO of Activision Blizzard expects Microsoft’s acquisition of the company to close by the middle of next year
📧 Bobby Kotick gave a status update in an employee email
🔎 The European Commission just launched a second investigation into the deal
🤔 The US and UK regulatory bodies are also yet to reach a decision
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has said he’s confident Microsoft’s proposed buyout of the company will successfully close by June 2023.
In a letter published on Yahoo Finance and sent to employees of Activision Blizzard, Kotick outlined the current status of the deal.
“We continue to work cooperatively with regulators in other jurisdictions, and the process is moving along as we expected,” said Kotick, noting the European Commission has just entered the second phase of its review of the deal.
“We have been working closely with Microsoft to actively engage regulators in other key countries to answer their questions and provide them with information to assist with their review,” he added.
“People from across our business units and functions have been involved in this regulatory work, and I want to thank each of you for your tireless work and commitment to completing this merger, which we continue to expect to close in Microsoft’s current fiscal year ending June 2023.”
After Microsoft announced its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard earlier this year, the $68 billion deal has been scrutinized by market regulators and state bodies concerned about its impact on fair competition in the video game industry. Brazil and Saudi Arabia have already greenlit the deal, but the companies are waiting on more approvals – particularly those of the US, EU, and UK.
Just this week, the European Commission announced it had opened an in-depth investigation as part of the second phase of its review. It’s worried the deal “may significantly reduce competition in the markets for the distribution of console and PC video games, including multi-game subscription services and/or cloud game streaming services, and for PC operating systems”.
Both the US’s Federal Trade Commission and the UK’s Consumer and Markets Authority have voiced their concerns about the deal, as has Sony. The gaming giant is concerned Microsoft would make the Call of Duty franchise exclusive to Xbox consoles, although Microsoft insists it won’t.
In response, Microsoft has become bullish about the deal, even going so far as to launch a dedicated website proselytizing the benefits. It’s even started to talk about its post-deal plans, which include reviving the classic Blizzard franchise StarCraft.
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