Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard in record $68bn deal

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Microsoft has announced that it is to acquire computer games developer Activision Blizzard in a deal worth in excess of $68bn.

Microsoft is paying cash for Activision Blizzard, the firm responsible for ‘Call of Duty’, and is the company’s biggest ever acquisition.

According to Microsoft the deal will make it the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue, behind Tencent and Sony, and it will help to accelerate the growth of its gaming business across mobile, PC, console and the cloud. In it’s announcement the company said that it would also help provide ‘building blocks’ for the metaverse.

The acquisition will give Microsoft a number of leading gaming franchises and global eSports activities through Major League Gaming.

The company’s CEO and Chairman, Satya Nadella, said, “Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.

“We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.”

Commenting on the announcement tech and media analyst, Daniel Ives, who works at Wedbush, said that a deal of this size would attract the attention of regulators, but that Microsoft would ultimately gain clearance as unlike its Silicon Valley rivals such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google, it doesn't face the same level of scrutiny or pressure.

“We expect this deal to ultimately clear regulators,” said Ives, in a note to investors, although he did warn of, "inherent speed bumps navigating both the Beltway and Brussels on a tech deal of this size.”