That a deal as massive in scale as Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been under as much scrutiny as it has hasn’t been a surprise to anyone, though it has nonetheless been held up longer than most parties involved would have expected. Nonetheless, with Microsoft having been given the green light for the deal in the US and also currently being in the process of negotiating the deal with the UK’s CMA, it does seem like it’s edging closer to completion.
As such, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have agreed to extend the deadline for the merger agreement to October 18. With the new dealine in effect, the companies have also agreed to new penalties in case the acquisition faces further obstacles. If the deal doesn’t go through by August 29, Microsoft will have to pay Activision Blizzard $3.5 billion in penalties, while if the acquisition isn’t completed by September 15, that number will go up to $4.5 billion. Previously, penalties were set at a flat $3 billion upon failure to close the deal.
On Twitter, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said, “We’re optimistic about getting this deal done, and excited about bringing more games to more players everywhere.”
Microsoft Presiden Brad Smith added, “We will honor all commitments agreed upon with the EC and other regulators and continue to work with the CMA on the issues raised in the UK. We are confident about our prospects for getting this deal across the finish line.”
Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard CCO and EVP of corporate affairs Lulu Cheng Meservey wrote, “The recent decision in the U.S. and approvals in 40 countries all validate that the deal is good for competition, players, and the future of gaming.
“Given global regulatory approvals and the companies’ confidence that CMA now recognizes there are remedies available to meet their concerns in the UK, the Activision Blizzard and Microsoft boards of directors have authorized the companies not to terminate the deal until after October 18.
“We’re confident in our next steps and that our deal will quickly close.”
Recently, the CMA announced that it had pushed back the deadline for its final decision regarding the deal until August 29, while the regulator and Microsoft were also granted an additional two months by the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal to resolve the acquisition.
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have extended the merger agreement deadline to 10/18. We're optimistic about getting this done, and excited about bringing more games to more players everywhere.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) July 19, 2023
Together with @Activision, we are announcing the extension of our merger agreement to 10/18 to provide ample time to work through the final regulatory issues. We will honor all commitments agreed upon with the EC and other regulators and continue to work with the CMA on the… pic.twitter.com/QZklZC20ZG
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) July 19, 2023
Update on Activision Blizzard’s merger with Microsoft: agreement deadline extended
The recent decision in the U.S. and approvals in 40 countries all validate that the deal is good for competition, players, and the future of gaming.
Given global regulatory approvals and the…
— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) July 19, 2023