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Microsoft To Close Activision Blizzard Deal Next Week - Report

After 20+ months, Microsoft may soon finally and officially own Activision Blizzard and the Call of Duty series.


After 20 months, multiple lawsuits, massive leaks, and other drama and controversy, Microsoft's blockbuster $68.7 billion deal to acquire Activision Blizzard may finally close soon. The Verge reports that Microsoft is eyeing Friday, October 13 to officially close the acquisition. Friday the 13th is known anecdotally to be a generally unlucky day, but facts and data do not show any significant uptick in bad stuff happening on Friday the 13th.

Microsoft recently restructured its deal in the UK and sold cloud gaming rights for existing and upcoming Activision Blizzard games to Ubisoft to help get the deal done. The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK has given Microsoft preliminary approval to close the deal, and the deadline for which the CMA will solicit opinions is today, October 6. The CMA said it will issue its final judgement on or before October 18. This timeline would seemingly allow Microsoft to close the deal on Friday, October 13, provided there are no further roadblocks.

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Now Playing: The Hidden Gems Of The Xbox Activision Acquisition

Microsoft originally announced its intent to buy Activision Blizzard in January 2022, so it's been a long time coming, but no one expected the deal to close quickly. Given the size of the buyout--it is Microsoft's biggest by far and among the largest ever in the technology space--the deal was expected to face regulatory scrutiny.

Microsoft is paying Activision Blizzard $95 per share for the buyout. Microsoft's previous biggest acquisition was LinkedIn, which it paid $26.2 billion to acquire in 2016. For comparison, Disney bought Lucasfilm and the Star Wars series for $4.05 billion.

Per the terms of the merger agreement, Microsoft would have had to pay Activision Blizzard a breakup fee of more than $4.5 billion if this deal didn't come together.

Microsoft is buying the entirety of Activision Blizzard, which means Microsoft own and operate, pending the final closure of the deal, franchises like Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, and Warcraft, as well as King's popular Candy Crush games.

A key point in this saga has been Call of Duty, and in July of this year, Microsoft and Sony announced a 10-year deal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation platforms until at least 2033. Microsoft also has a 10-year deal in place with Nintendo to bring future Call of Duty releases to the company's platforms, including potentially the Switch 2.

As part of the legal proceedings, a trove of Xbox emails and internal documents emerged accidentally, providing an unprecedented--if outdated--look at Microsoft's future gaming plans.

Controversial Activision Blizzard CEO is expected to leave the company following the expected closure of the Microsoft deal.

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