Activision Blizzard Shareholders Vote to Acquire Microsoft

Activision Blizzard stockholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of the publisher, with 98% of the shares approving the transaction.

However, there is still a long way to go before the deal is finalized; While Activision Blizzard shareholders — and, earlier this week, board members — have now given the deal the green light, it is still subject to regulatory scrutiny around the world, by the US Federal Trade Commission, for example, to determine or the deal constitutes unfair competition.

Should the deal pass regulatory review, the acquisition has until June 2023 to close, after which Microsoft will welcome some of the industry’s most recognizable franchises, including Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch and mobile hit Candy Crush.

However, as Bloomberg reports today, uncertainty remains about whether the deal will go through, with some Wall Street investors believing the Biden administration’s antitrust investigators will block or delay the takeover — a belief reflected in the current stock price of Activision Blizzard, trading at 23% below Microsoft’s $95 offer.

But now that Microsoft’s takeover offer has been approved by Activision Blizzard’s shareholders, another hurdle has been cleared. Commenting on the news, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said: “The overwhelming support from our shareholders today confirms our shared belief that, when combined with Microsoft, we will be even better positioned to create great value for our players, even greater opportunities for our employees. , and to continue our focus on becoming an inspiring example of a welcoming, respectful and inclusive workplace”.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision comes at a troubling time for the Call of Duty publisher, which remains controversial after last year’s shocking allegations that it fostered a corporate culture in which sexual harassment, assault and inappropriate behavior could thrive.

Activision Blizzard was described as a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women” in a lawsuit filed by the state of California last July, and CEO Bobby Kotick subsequently became the focus of a damning report claiming to be aware of sexual misconduct within the company “for years”.

More recently, the parents of a former Activision Blizzard employee who committed suicide during a company retreat in 2017 filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the publisher, alleging the suicide was the result of sexual harassment by co-workers.

Events took a further dramatic turn earlier this month when the California governor was charged with interfering with Activision Blizzard’s support of the state case against discrimination and harassment that sparked the publisher’s woes.

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