Microsoft and Activision Blizzard’s merger has been delayed even further. The companies announced the acquisition’s pushback on Wednesday after they missed the original deadline due to opposition from the regulatory bodies from the UK and the US.
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard Merger: Missed Deadline
The original deadline for the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal was set for July 18. But this deadline was missed due to opposition in the US and the UK. While the American tech giant managed to move forward in the $69 billion deal after a US judge ruled in favor of the acquisition, the merger still needs to secure approval in the UK. Microsoft buying out Activision Blizzard also marks the industry’s biggest gaming deal so far.
Microsoft Extends Contract Under Pressure
The American tech giant owes Activision $3.5 billion if the deal doesn’t close by August 29, as per their amended agreement. This will rise to $4.5 billion after September 15. Microsoft is extending the contract in hopes to ensure that the gaming studio’s decision isn’t influenced by other potential acquirers. To strengthen its case, the company has also signed a 10-year deal with Sony to keep “Call of Duty” on the PlayStation platform to promote healthy competition in the market.
Microsoft Gains a Larger Foothold in Gaming
With this deal, Microsoft will significantly expand its presence in the gaming industry. The Xbox has been struggling to compete with Sony and Nintendo in the console market. However, Activision Blizzard’s acquisition allows it to better rival Sony since it brings massively popular gaming franchises like “Call of Duty” and “Diablo” under Microsoft’s belt. So now, the UK authority’s decision will be key in determining whether this deal will shift the gaming landscape.