Microsoft In Talks To Extend Acquisition Deal With Activision Blizzard: Report

Microsoft In Talks To Extend Acquisition Deal With Activision Blizzard: Report

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According to a source familiar with the matter, Microsoft is engaged in discussions to extend its acquisition contract with video game maker Activision Blizzard, reported Reuters. The contract is set to expire on Tuesday, but an extension is being sought to overcome the remaining regulatory challenges and ensure the successful completion of the $69 billion deal.

The expiration of the contract itself would not automatically result in the collapse of the deal, as it grants both companies the right to walk away from the transaction. However, Microsoft, the maker of the Xbox gaming console, is eager to secure an extension to prevent Activision from being courted by other potential acquirers or experiencing a change of heart, as stated by the source.

The specific terms and potential financial advantages associated with the extension are not immediately known. If an agreement is not reached by the end of Tuesday, the parties will continue negotiations, as confirmed by the anonymous source due to the confidential nature of the matter.

Microsoft and Activision have yet to respond to requests for comment on the situation.

An extension would provide additional time for the companies to address regulatory concerns in Britain, the only major jurisdiction posing a hurdle to completing the largest acquisition in the gaming sector.

Microsoft and Activision are actively negotiating potential remedies with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to address its antitrust concerns. The CMA has expressed reservations about Microsoft’s commitment to offering access to Activision’s highly lucrative “Call of Duty” franchise to rival cloud gaming platforms, suggesting that it may not effectively protect competition in the market. To facilitate further negotiations, the CMA has extended its probe until August 29.

Recently, Microsoft signed an agreement to ensure that Call of Duty games will remain available on Sony’s PlayStation console. Sony had been one of the most vocal critics of the deal, expressing concerns about potential limitations on consumer choice.

In the United States, an appeals court denied the US Federal Trade Commission’s request to halt Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, eliminating one of the final obstacles to completing the deal.

On Monday, Activision’s shares closed at $93.2, slightly below the $95-per-share deal price, as per Reuters, indicating that most investors now anticipate the successful completion of the acquisition.

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