Activision: Activision, Microsoft extend ‘Call of Duty’ deal deadline: What it means and all other details – Times of India

Activision: Activision, Microsoft extend 'Call of Duty' deal deadline: What it means and all other details - Times of India


Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have reached an agreement in extending the deadline for the close of its $69 billion merger to October 18. The two companies originally agreed to close the largest gaming deal in history by July 18.
The move will provide a breather to both the companies that are looking to work their way to secure approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Recently, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also tried to block the takeover but courts rejected the appeal twice (first by a federal judge and then by an appeals court).
Increase in termination fee
According to Activision, the companies also agreed to increase the deal termination fee to $3.5 billion from $3 billion if it does not close by August 29. It will pay $4.5 billion if the deal is not closed before September 15 and it backs out.
Meanwhile, UK’s antitrust competitor, which had earlier blocked the deal, reversed course last week and extended its deadline for a final ruling to August 29.
CMA and FTC concerns
While the FTC said the deal could let Microsoft degrade Activision’s game quality or player experience on rival consoles like Nintendo and Sony‘s PlayStation. It also said that the company could manipulate pricing or change terms or timing of access to Activision content.
Meanwhile, the CMA questioned whether the deal could hinder competition in the cloud gaming industry. The CMA said that the parties “can choose to restructure a deal, which can lead to a new merger investigation.”
“Microsoft and Activision have indicated that they are considering how the transaction might be modified, and the CMA is prepared to engage with them on this basis,” it said.
Microsoft responded to these concerns by offering 10-year licensing deals to rival cloud competitors and console companies. These include Nvidia, Nintendo, PlayStation and Boosteroid, among others.


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