When will Microsoft’s buyout of Activision Blizzard be completed?

Ryan Lemay
activision blizzard xbox coloursMicrosoft / Blizzard

Microsoft announced plans to purchase Activision Blizzard earlier this year. Here’s everything we know about the deal.

Microsoft sent a seismic tremor through the video game industry earlier in 2022 by announcing its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard is a world-renowned video game developer and publisher responsible for historical video game franchises such as World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Overwatch, Diablo, and Hearthstone.

A lawsuit filed in July 2021 accused workplace harassment at Activision Blizzard, and the company was sued for misleading shareholders regarding the case. Activision Blizzard published the results of an internal investigation and concluded there was “no widespread harassment.”

The industry giant is “considering” a proposal to share its harassment data publicly, but there are several legal and moral question marks surrounding the Microsoft acquisition.

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activision blizzarActivision Blizzard/Flickr: Gordon Tarpley
Activision Blizzard shareholders approved an official report of harassment findings.

How much is the sale for?

Microsoft announced plans to purchase Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion earlier this year.

That’s considerably more than the $7.5 billion that Microsoft paid for Bethesda in 2021.

What obstacles are blocking the sale?

First, the deal was halted by America’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for review to determine whether it would constitute a case of unfair competition.

Second, UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced a probe into the agreement. In a statement to CNBC, the regulating body wants to review whether or not the takeover could potentially injure competition and disadvantage consumers.

phil spencer addresses activision blizzard concernsXbox
Phil Spencer, Microsoft Gaming CEO, wants to have “conversations” with Activision employees.

When will the sale be finalized?

According to Dealreporter, Microsoft has provided the FTC with the information it was looking for, potentially knocking out one of the roadblocks.

The onus falls upon Activision to follow suit and provide the FTC with the same information before a 30-day countdown officially begins.

According to VGC, it’s not yet clear whether Activision has provided its required information to the FTC.

The FTC closes its investigation, and the deal moves closer to being finalized once both companies provide their information. The CMA set a deadline of September 1 to give its initial decision.

What will this mean for Xbox?

Xbox Activision Blizzard merger graphicActivision / Xbox
Microsoft’s historic bid to acquire Activision Blizzard could impact the future of the CoD franchise.

A potential deal has significant implications for the Call of Duty and Overwatch franchises, alongside console titles like Diablo.

Sony acquired Destiny 2 developer Bungie for $3.6 billion. According to a report from gamesindustry.biz, Bungie will maintain its right and ability to self-publish and reach players wherever they choose to play.

There is no indication of whether or not Activision would maintain similar self-publishing rights. Call of Duty and Overwatch becoming Microsoft exclusive titles would most likely shatter the video game universe.

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