Did Microsoft Contact Activision Blizzard Immediately After The Bobby Kotick Scandal?

Xbox boss Phil Spencer could have taken the opportunity, which seems like a rubbed move for Activision Blizzard.


According to a regulatory filing, just a few days after the publication of an article about sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard involving Bobby Kotick, the Redmond company started negotiations to acquire the Kotick-led company (which began on November 19). CNBC pointed out that Microsoft was opportunistic after the Wall Street Journal article published on November 16: Kotick has suffered irreparable damage to his career, with the publisher’s share value plummeting 11%.

As for Microsoft’s takeover talks, it is worth pointing out what Spencer said on November 18: the Activision Blizzard deal has been discussed internally. It was reviewing and fine-tuning its relationship with the publisher. Then, on November 19 came the first meeting between Spencer and Kotick. According to the official filing document, “On November 19, 2021, in the course of a conversation on a different topic between Mr Spencer and Mr Kotick, Mr Spencer raised that Microsoft was interested in discussing strategic opportunities between Activision Blizzard and Microsoft and asked whether it would be possible to have a call with [Microsoft CEO] Mr Nadella the following day.”

The document then detailed the next two months of negotiations, culminating in the announcement on January 18. Kotick had been in talks with several publishers before the announcement. Still, they were not mentioned, so we don’t know who else could have been a potential future owner of Activision Blizzard (as they could yet block Microsoft from closing the deal). Microsoft president Brad Smith says they are keeping a close eye on ActiBlizz management and how the harassment allegations are being handled, so they can decide who will stay in the running. Kotick will most likely leave the company. And not many people will be shedding tears for him.

What Microsoft and Spencer have done is not stupid: given an 11% fall in the share price, it has significantly reduced the value of Activision Blizzard. Given that Redmond still paid $68.7 billion, it could have been $75-76 billion, which is a lot of money. So it’s fair to say that it was a smart move

Source: VGC

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Anikó, our news editor and communication manager, is more interested in the business side of the gaming industry. She worked at banks, and she has a vast knowledge of business life. Still, she likes puzzle and story-oriented games, like Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, which is her favourite title. She also played The Sims 3, but after accidentally killing a whole sim family, swore not to play it again. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our IMPRESSUM)

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