Microsoft Acquiring Activision Blizzard in Multi-Billion Deal

Microsoft is paying $68.7 billion upfront for everything Activision's got.

Microsoft is paying $68.7 billion upfront for everything Activision’s got.

In a surprise announcement this morning, it was revealed that Microsoft’s gaming arm has cut a deal with game publisher Activision Blizzard to acquire them entirely to the tune of $68.7 billion. This deal will be entirely in cash, paid upfront, no stock options. This will be the largest cash acquisition Microsoft has ever made, dwarfing their previous record of $26.2 billion spent in 2016 to acquire LinkedIn.

Activision Blizzard is the publisher of several of gaming’s most profitable IPs, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and more. However, the company has recently been mired in controversy due to the actions of its executive board and its treatment of female employees, which is what led to the still-ongoing lawsuit served to them by the state of California.

Activision Blizzard’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, is slated to remain CEO both during and after the deal, though once the deal formally closes by the end of 2023’s fiscal year, he will be reporting directly to Xbox head Phil Spencer. Kotick has proven to be a central figure to the ongoing controversy, regularly receiving bonuses and pay bumps even while Activision lays employees off. While nothing official has been declared, industry analysts believe there is a genuine chance Kotick could be forced to resign by Spencer once the acquisition is finalized.

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