Microsoft Wins Activision Merger, After Failed Attempt to Halt by the US FTC

 Microsoft declared its intention to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash on January 18, 2022. According to the terms of the agreement, Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios (Microsoft Gaming) subsidiary would be the owner of Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, and King.

Franchises like Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and Candy Crush would be under Microsoft's hands after the acquisition. It would be the largest acquisition of a video game in history if permitted by foreign regulators. Sony has actively opposed the merger, arguing that the new organisation will prevent titles like Call of Duty from coming to the PlayStation platform by making them Xbox family exclusives.

Without any Microsoft concessions, a number of nations, notably China and the European Commission, have authorised the deal. The combination would hurt competition, especially in the cloud gaming industry, according to the formal objections the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) filed to stop the acquisition. Microsoft promised to provide Call of Duty and other titles to Sony and a number of other console and cloud gaming platforms for a decade as part of its efforts to allay these worries. The CMA then agreed to put the case on hold in order to engage in negotiations with both companies after the FTC was unable to get a preliminary injunction to halt the merger before its anticipated close date in July 2023.

One of the biggest video game companies in the world, Activision Blizzard will have $8.8 billion in annual revenue in 2021.  Activision Publishing, Blizzard Entertainment, King, Major League Gaming, and Activision Blizzard Studios are the company's five commercial divisions. Its holdings include the rights to Candy Crush Saga from King, Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro from Activision Studios, as well as Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, and Overwatch from Blizzard Entertainment.

In addition to manufacturing the Xbox line of gaming consoles and running Xbox Game Studios, a group of developers who produce first-party games, Microsoft is a major participant in the computing software industry. Microsoft completed the acquisition of ZeniMax Media and Bethesda Softworks in March 2021 for an estimated $7.5 billion, making it one of the biggest purchases of a video game company at the time.


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