Monday, August 8, 2022

Activision Blizzard Shareholders Approve Microsoft’s Acquisition Proposal

Activision Blizzard today announced that its shareholders have given approval to the proposed $68.7 billion acquisition deal by Microsoft. Earlier today, Activision Blizzard held a special meeting with its shareholders where more than 98% of shareholders voted in favor of the proposed transaction with Microsoft.

At the beginning of 2022, Microsoft announced its plans to acquire the gaming giant Activision Blizzard for a staggering $68.7 billion via an all-cash deal. Microsoft proposed to purchase shares at a premium and offered $95 per share. While the deal was announced early in the year, Microsoft doesn’t expect the deal to go through before the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023.

Today’s overwhelmingly supportive vote by our stockholders confirms our shared belief that, combined with Microsoft, we will be even better positioned to create great value for our players, even greater opportunities for our employees, and to continue our focus on becoming an inspiring example of a welcoming, respectful, and inclusive workplace

Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard

Today’s announcement by Activision Blizzard brings the deal a step closer to closing. Now the biggest hurdle of getting approval from the Federal Trade Commission remains. Currently, the FTC is chaired by Biden appointee Lina M. Khan, a known public advocate for cracking down on anti-competitive consolidation in the marketplace. Since the Microsoft X Activision Blizzard will supposedly consolidate the market between 3-4 big players only, getting the FTC approval might get tricky for Microsoft.

If the FTC stocks down the deal or otherwise collapses in some other way, it would leave Activision Blizzard in a tough spot. Earlier this week, the company reported weak sales of Call of Duty: Vanguard, while Blizzard reported that Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 were running behind schedule and no early release date is in sight.

But, if the deal goes through then CEO Bobby Kotick will get a golden parachute exit from the company with a payout of more than $15 million in bonusnot including his gains from sales of personally owned stocks to Microsoft.

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