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Microsoft reportedly wants Activision Blizzard deal to be finalized next week

The saga may finally end
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According to a report by The Verge, Microsoft is looking to close out its acquisition of Activision Blizzard King on October 13, 2023. Friday the 13th jokes aside, the closure of the deal depends on the final approval of the UK’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA).

This regulator recently gave its provisional approval to the deal after Microsoft offered to amend details of the takeover to remedy the CMA’s concerns. Under this compromise, Microsoft will divest certain cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft, ensuring it won’t have too strong a position in the cloud gaming market. A final consultation on this solution is currently underway with the deadline for opinion submissions running out today on October 6, 2023.

Xbox and Activision Blizzard logos in white on top of a collage of game characters from Activision Blizzard games.

For some it's a dream, for others a nightmare: the Activision Blizzard acquisition.

The final decision, then, is expected to arrive next week, which is why Microsoft seems to be preparing to finalize the deal on Friday.

In the US, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is still fighting a legal battle against the proposed acquisition of the video game maker. Microsoft could close the deal despite that, since the FTC’s request for a temporary injunction has been denied. While the FTC could still take apart the merger afterwards, the regulator’s job would become a lot more difficult in that case.

Worth a little less than $69 billion USD, this transaction would bring Activision, Blizzard, and King under Microsoft’s control, giving it access to powerhouse franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush on PC, consoles, and mobile devices.

While some gamers – especially PlayStation fans – are concerned about this development, fans of neglected Blizzard IPs like StarCraft can’t wait for the deal to close, hoping that they’ll get some more love under Microsoft’s leadership. Xbox’s Sarah Bond recently nourished those hopes with a statement at Tokyo Game Show 2023.