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Microsoft To Buy Activision Blizzard For $70 Billion In Biggest Gaming Deal Ever

by : Shola Lee on :
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Microsoft is on the brink of buying games developer Activision Blizzard in a deal valued at $68.7 billion.

In what would be Microsoft’s largest-ever purchase, the company is set to pay $95 per share.

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Activision Blizzard, one of the gaming industry’s best-known companies, is the developer behind titles including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

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Bobby Kotick, the company’s chief executive officer, will remain in his role after Microsoft completes the deal. Activision Blizzard will then report to Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Gaming.

As per the Evening Standard, Activision has a history with Xbox, and in taking over the brand Microsoft aims to expand its offerings for Xbox, in an effort to compete against Sony’s PlayStation.

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In a statement relating to the deal, Microsoft said:

This acquisition will accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.

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On July 20, 2021, Activision Blizzard was sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for its alleged ‘frat boy’ culture, with appalling accusations of discrimination, sexual harassment and rape jokes in the workplace.

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Activision Blizzard Workers Stage Walkout Following Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

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The lawsuit was filed following a two-year investigation into the company’s practices, with its female employees, who make up 20% of the workforce, uncovering a stream of abuse and harassment in a ‘pervasive frat boy workplace culture’.

A week later, Activision Blizzard employees staged a walkout in a bid to improve the company’s working conditions.

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Kotick has faced pressure to resign amid the controversy, and the company has struggled to adapt to the gaming content demand that increased during the pandemic.

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The Wall Street Journal reported that Kotick failed to inform the company’s board of directors about misconduct reports, however, the company said in a statement that it was ‘disappointed in The Wall Street Journal’s report’ and characterised it as misleading.

The company’s shares have been down 30% since July after the lawsuits concerning sexual harassment and pay inequality were filed.

Despite this controversy, the deal is set to go ahead, and if approved, will make Microsoft the third-largest gaming company in the world.

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Shola Lee

Shola Lee began her journalism career while studying for her undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University of London and Columbia University in New York. She has written for the Columbia Spectator, QM Global Bloggers, CUB Magazine, UniDays, and Warner Brothers' Wizarding World Digital. Recently, Shola took part in the 2021 BAFTA Crew and BBC New Creatives programme before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories, and features.

Topics: News, Call of Duty, Gaming, Microsoft

Credits

Event Standard and 1 other
  1. Event Standard

    Xbox-owner Microsoft to buy Activision in deal valuing Call Of Duty games maker at $70bn

  2. Barron's

    Activision Stock Falls After New Report Questions CEO’s Handling of Misconduct Allegations