The current acquisition of Activision will be Microsoft’s largest merger and one of the 30 biggest deals of all time
Microsoft and Nintendo agree on a 10-year commitment to bring Call of duty, a popular video game franchise to Nintendo. This deal is followed by the $69 billion merger of Activision Blizzard King and Microsoft. Activision Blizzard Inc. is an American video game holding company based in California. The deal would make Microsoft among the top 3 gaming companies globally.
Phil Spencer, Xbox chief in a statement mentioned that Microsoft is committed to expanding and bringing the gaming platform to more people. The extent of the deal can be further prolonged after the preliminary period. The company is keenly interested in offering Call of Duty on Valve Corp’s steam platform at the same time as it’s released on Xbox. “We are pleased to confirm that Microsoft has committed to continue to offer Call of Duty on Steam simultaneously to Xbox after we have closed the merger with Activision Blizzard King,” added Phil Spencer.
The company earlier had extended offers to Sony Group to bring the Activision franchise to the PlayStation consoles for a decade, but the efforts were in vain as the Japanese giant hasn’t agreed to the offers, according to Bloomberg reports. Sony has backed away from the Activision acquisition because of its increasing concerns that the US company could make a game like Call of duty limited to its own gaming services. Phil Spencer also stated that the company’s intention is to become more pertinent on more screens.
Microsoft has entered into a 10-year commitment to bring Call of Duty to @Nintendo following the merger of Microsoft and Activision Blizzard King. Microsoft is committed to helping bring more games to more people – however they choose to play. @ATVI_AB
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 7, 2022
The FTC challenge
The current acquisition will be the company’s largest merger and one of the 30 biggest deals of all time, however, for the US giant, the deal doesn’t come very easily. The American MNC’s acquisition of Activision has been under examination earlier and Japanese company Sony has been objecting to the move since the company decided to move forward with the merger.
The deal is also closely watched by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), antitrust regulators in European Union, and Competition and Markets Authority in the UK. There are chances that FTC might file an antitrust lawsuit to block the $69 billion acquisition. The US company, however, decided to fight for its acquisition in the event the FTC tries to block the case.
FTC is known for taking an aggressive approach to mergers especially when it comes to deals pertaining to digital markets and technology. FTC earlier stopped Meta Platform from taking over Within, the reality fitness app stating that the acquisition could eliminate competition in a few markets. Microsoft executives are set to meet with FTC chair Lina Khan and other commissioners on Wednesday.
The meeting with the FTC commissioners is often one of the last steps before either a settlement is reached, or lawsuits are filed. The deal also requires antitrust approval from officials in the European Union and the UK, who have raised concerns that Microsoft could refuse popular game titles from competing systems, especially from Sony Group Corp.’s PlayStation.
Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Gaming, Phil Spencer remains confident that Microsoft’s Activision takeover will be accepted by regulators, with the company setting a timeline of getting that deal and expects to complete the transaction by June 30. He sees the steps taken by Microsoft with Valve and Nintendo as a signal of Microsoft’s push to distribute and be inclusive of its portfolio of gaming content widely.