business news Takeover of Activision by Microsoft: Soon the end… of the beginning
Suddenly revealed on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 shortly before 3 p.m., the proposed takeover of the Activision group Blizzard King shook the ground of the video game planet. The American giant has put 69 billion dollars on the table to get hold of some of the most famous licenses in the industry. If the regulators authorize the marriage, Xbox will have more than thirty first-party studios.
Objective: convince the authorities
Since the announcement of the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the Redmond firm has been in the crosshairs of the competition authorities. Last February, Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, explained that the operation would be studied by the authorities of 17 countries, including Washington and Brussels. “There was a time when an acquisition that made you the third player in a market did not alarm the competition authorities. But we know that today, any large takeover operation launched by a major tech player is watched with much more attention.” he declared in the lines of the Figaro. The Redmond firm has decided to show its credentials so that the deal be accepted quickly. She aired at the beginning of the year a series of commitments mainly related to Microsoft Store policy (data management, application promotion, payment systems, etc.), while promising that Call of Duty games will continue to arrive on competing machines. The clearly stated objective is to convince the authorities that absorbing Activision Blizzard will not put the group in a dominant position.
“We are coming to the end of the beginning”
Interviewed at The EchoBrad Smith said that the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard was on its way: “it’s moving fast, at least fast enough for an acquisition of this size. We have received requests for information about this here in Brussels, but also in London and Washington”. He adds : “we answer questions, we give briefings and we provide the requested information”. As soon as the takeover project was announced, Microsoft warned that the operation should close between July 2022 and June 2023..
One of our attorneys summed it up nicely by saying, “We’re coming to the end of the beginning and now we’re entering the beginning of the middle.” It’s a long process and we’re still at the stage where we’re answering questions. For us, obviously, the sooner it gets done the better, but we will respect the process.” Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, remarks collected by L’Echo.be
Needless to say that while waiting for the acquisition project to be definitively accepted by the authorities, Microsoft will not communicate on its future projects with Activision. The 2021 Showcase should therefore not bring any new elements to the marriage between the two giants.