Microsoft to Launch Legal Action if Activision/Blizzard Takeover is Blocked!
Mike Sanders / 4 months ago
When Microsoft announced it had agreed on a deal for the £67.8BN takeover of Activision/Blizzard around the start of this year, people were undoubtedly shocked at the news. In many respects though, whether you were happy about it or not, the announcement did seem to pretty much suggest that getting the paperwork in place was merely a formality, and, sooner or later, Microsoft would be their new owner.
Over the last few months, however, and particularly following the EU’s investigation of the takeover, the deal has continually looked more and more doubtful to ever be approved. – Hitting various issues predominantly due to anti-competition laws (with Microsoft not helping by being incredibly vague on the future of titles such as COD on the PlayStation), as I write this, it seems more likely than not that both the UK and EU will not approve the acquisition. – And this is not to mention the fact that the FTC in America hasn’t even yet confirmed whether they plan to investigate the deal, but has already said (via leaks) that they will likely be heavily scrutinising it!
Overall, I have sincere doubts that, through the current channels, the Microsoft Activision/Blizzard deal will be approved. – Should it be rejected though, will everything just fizzle out? – Well, following a report via WCCFTech, apparently not as internal sources are already claiming that Microsoft is prepping its lawyers for the possibility of having to take this to the courts!
Microsoft to Take Activision/Blizzard Deal to Courts (If Necessary)
The news is thought to be specifically referring to the FTC where a decision is likely to be made within the next 4-8 weeks. And based on prior leaks, it seems 99.9% certain that they’re planning to conduct a full and thorough investigation of the Microsoft Activision/Blizzard takeover. Why is this a problem though? Well, this would likely see the deal dragged out for at least another 3-6 months, and even then, they might ultimately decide to not approve it!
With Microsoft’s investors reportedly saying that they’ve been told the deal should be finalised before Summer 2023, however, it’s understood that the tech giant has started charging its lawyers to prepare to start fighting this out in the courts for not just a favourable decision, but also a more expedited one.
As noted above though, Microsoft hasn’t exactly helped itself here by being continually vague on what effect this could have for titles on competing systems. It seems pretty clear that privately, Microsoft would like to make many Activision/Blizzard games at least a timed exclusive to their own systems whereas publically they keep promising that it’s “absurd” the takeover could be considered anti-competition.
At this point though, while this is all still incredibly up in the air, I can at least likely promise you one thing; This deal will not be concluded by Summer 2023! Well, not unless Microsoft decides to give up on it which, based on this news, doesn’t appear likely.
What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!