One of the biggest sticking points in the ongoing ordeal over Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion USD acquisition of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard has been a deadline originally agreed upon by both parties to close the deal, which ended on July 18th, 2023.
Having hit significant roadblocks on the path to deal closure, Microsoft had been rapidly approaching that date without being able to consummate the buyout of Activision Blizzard thanks to opposition from the US’ Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and an outright denial from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Missing the deadline reportedly could have cost Microsoft a not-insignificant $3 billion USD in penalties to Activision, giving it good reason to want to push things through as quickly as possible.
Now though, it’s been confirmed by Microsoft president Brad Smith that both companies have officially agreed to extend that deadline until October 18th, to give Microsoft time to work with the UK CMA to resolve the issues it’s had with the acquisition and finally get the tick of approval in the UK.
As we near the finish line, today's extension with @activision enables us to focus on addressing comprehensively and properly the UK's statutory requirements while sustaining fully our obligations across the EU.
“We will honor all commitments agreed upon with the EC and other regulators and continue to work with the CMA on the issues raised in the UK. We are confident about our prospects for getting this deal across the finish line.”
Activision Blizzard’s CCO Lulu Cheng Meservey added, “Given global regulatory approvals and the companies’ confidence that CMA now recognizes there are remedies available to meet their concerns in the UK, the Activision Blizzard and Microsoft boards of directors have authorized the companies not to terminate the deal until after October 18.”
Xbox boss Phil Spencer also shared the news, saying “We’re optimistic about getting this done, and excited about bringing more games to more players everywhere.”
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have extended the merger agreement deadline to 10/18. We're optimistic about getting this done, and excited about bringing more games to more players everywhere.