Activision Blizzard shareholders have approved the sale to Microsoft, but a review is still pending, and Wall Street analysts are sceptical about the deal because of President Biden’s strict anti-trust policies.
Three months have passed since it was announced that Microsoft would buy Activision Blizzard. Since then, we’ve seen all the ins and outs of the deal, how it came about and what the future implications could be for one of the most lucrative sagas on the market, Call of Duty; but there are still those who doubt the $69 billion deal will ever materialise, Bloomberg reports.
Activision Blizzard shares are still 25 per cent below Microsoft’s offer
In a report released yesterday afternoon, the news agency’s reporters Brody Ford and Jason Schreier echo investors’ fears that the Federal Trade Commission could block the deal as it tries to enforce President Joe Biden’s strict antitrust policies, which could thwart the sale or at least delay it for a month, as Amazon recently did with MGM.
The information is confirmed by Matt Perault of technology market research firm New Street Research and is backed up by today’s poor performance of Activision Blizzard’s shares, which are still 25% below the $95 offer made by Microsoft in January.
The deal between Microsoft and the company, still led by the controversial Boby Kottick, requires approval from the European Union and China in addition to US authorities, which could add to the uncertainty.
On Wall Street, Bloomberg reports that doubts are growing about whether Microsoft will be able to complete its acquisition of Activision.
Shareholders have approved the acquisition
However, the first hurdle has already been cleared without any significant problems, as Activision Blizzard shareholders were called to vote on the sale of the company, and as expected, more than 98% of them approved the deal. Although a group of investors wanted to boycott the move, pointing to Bobby Kotick’s nefarious leadership and undignified departure from the company, which will leave him with millions of dollars in his pocket after the deal closes, the rest of the stakeholders did not hesitate to vote in favour.
“Combined with Microsoft, we will be even better positioned to create great value for our players.”- Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard announced the news in a press release to Businesswire, which included a statement signed by Bobby Kotick: “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.”
As mentioned at the beginning of this story, market analysts have pointed out that Microsoft and Activision Blizzard still have a long way to go before the transaction closes. As we wrote above, Wall Street has expressed doubts about the future of the merger, as US President Joe Biden’s anti-trust policies could hamper the deal. The two giants likely have a long way to go before joining forces in practice…
Will the Activision-Microsoft deal go through? Today, Activision shareholders will vote on the acquisition. Then it faces a newly empowered FTC.
With Activision shares trading 25% below Microsoft's offer, Wall Street certainly believes the deal will fail: https://t.co/j3begJvMVu
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) April 28, 2022