Microsoft exec: Activision Blizzard deal 'moving fast' towards completion

Microsoft exec: Activision Blizzard deal ‘moving fast’ towards completion

Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard is “moving fast” toward regulatory approval, according to Microsoft Vice President and President Brad Smith in a recent interview.

Smith told a Belgian economic publication Litter that the acquisition is happening “pretty fast for an acquisition of this size”, but that the whole process is at the “end of the beginning and now enters the beginning of the middle”. Microsoft said at the time of the acquisition that it expected the deal to close in the first half of 2023.

The deal must pass regulatory reviews by numerous bodies and agencies around the world, including in Belgium, the UK and, of course, the US. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission is determining whether this decision violates antitrust laws and whether it will affect employees who have accused Activision Blizzard of harassment or discrimination.

Activision Blizzard’s various legal issues should lengthen the acquisition process, but there is no indication that they will prevent it. Activision Blizzard shareholders approved the acquisition in April — 98% of shareholders voted in favor.

Earlier this month, the New York City Employees Retirement System filed the most recent lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, claiming CEO Bobby Kotick was “unfit to negotiate a sale of the company” and that the acquisition of Microsoft serves as a means for Kotick and other members. of the board of directors to avoid “liability for fault”. This is in response to lawsuits filed over the past year against the company regarding sexual misconduct, gender discrimination and retaliation.

Activision recently settled $18 million in the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit, but it is still facing private cases and a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

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