Technology giant Microsoft has successfully closed its massive $69 billion acquisition deal for Activision Blizzard in a significant move to strengthen its position in the video-gaming market.
This acquisition bolsters Microsoft’s presence in the gaming industry, enabling them to compete more effectively with industry leader Sony by gaining access to blockbuster titles such as “Call of Duty.”
The deal, initially announced in January 2022, faced its final major hurdle — approval from Britain. To address competition concerns, Microsoft agreed to sell streaming rights for Activision’s games. This move paved the way for regulatory approval, solidifying the acquisition’s completion.
The acquisition marks a significant victory for Microsoft, aligning with their strategic goals of attracting more users to their Xbox consoles and Game Pass subscription service. While Microsoft’s gaming revenue has trailed behind Sony, this acquisition positions them to narrow the gap in the highly competitive online gaming market.
Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, will oversee the Activision business. Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, will leave his position after the end of 2023. Microsoft did not reveal any indication for a possible job cut.
One of Microsoft’s strategic goals with this acquisition is to penetrate the lucrative mobile gaming market, which is valued at over $90 billion. Activision’s popular mobile titles, including “Candy Crush Saga” and “Call of Duty Mobile,” contribute significantly to this market segment.
Despite the successful acquisition, the deal faces opposition from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which is focused on its appeal and evaluating Microsoft’s agreement with Ubisoft. However, analysts believe that the impact of the challenge will likely result in incremental concessions.