Microsoft to Finalize $68.7 Billion Acquisition of Activision Blizzard This Week: Sources

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Is Microsoft’s extensive saga of trying to acquire Activision Blizzard finally coming to end? Maybe, as sources with The Verge have revealed that the Windows maker is planning to finalize its $68.7 billion proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard as early as this week, around 20 months after it originally announced its intent to take over the publisher and developers behind Call of Duty, Diablo, World of Warcraft, and other major franchises. One of the last hurdles left appears to be a final decision from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which, despite having blocked the deal earlier this year, started warming up to the concept again after seeing other regulators fall in favor with Microsoft, having concluded that the deal wouldn’t be a threat to competition in the games industry. The FTC is also still obsessed about blocking the deal, something that it’s been trying to do since December, but apparently in vain.

A source familiar with Microsoft’s plans tells The Verge that the company is eyeing up Friday October 13th as the closing date where it announces to the world that the 20-month process to buy Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard is over.

Microsoft and Activision extended their deal deadline to October 18th recently, but if Microsoft is able to close its deal next week then it will bring to a close a 20-month process of regulatory approvals and battles across Europe and the US a little earlier than expected.

The FTC is still appealing the outcome of that hearing with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and a decision is due in early December. The FTC is also planning to resume its own administrative case against Microsoft’s proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition. The administrative case will commence 21 days after the Ninth Circuit rules on the FTC’s appeal, with the hearing held virtually. The FTC could attempt to undo Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal, assuming it closes on time, but it would face an unprecedented uphill battle.

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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