Infotech Microsoft buys video game publisher Activision-Blizzard for $69 billion

Microsoft buys video game publisher Activision-Blizzard for $69 billion

Microsoft announced on Tuesday, January 18 its intention to buy, for nearly 69 billion dollars, the American video game giant Activision-Blizzard, which notably publishes “Call of Duty”, “World of Warcraft” and “Candy Crush”., months after one of the company’s executives was fired for harassment.

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“Video games are the fastest growing and most exciting category in entertainment across all platforms and will be instrumental in the development of metaverse platforms”Microsoft boss Satya Nadella said in a statement.

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Biggest acquisition in the industry

If the transaction is confirmed, it will be the largest acquisition in the video game sector, far ahead of the takeover of Zynga by Take-Two for $12.7 billion announced last week. It is also the largest acquisition made by the IT group.

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Microsoft, which markets the Xbox console and has several development studios, will thus become the third largest player in the video game industry in terms of turnover behind Chinese Tencent and Japanese Sony, maker of the PlayStation.

Activision stock soars on Wall Street

The acquisition, which will take the form of a cash buyback of Activision shares at a price of $95 per share, is expected to close in fiscal year 2023.

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Activision’s stock soared more than 37% on Wall Street after the announcement, in electronic trading prior to the opening of trading, and was suspended for a few minutes before resuming. It climbed more than 35%, to 88.45 dollars, around 2:05 p.m.

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The announcement comes as Activision is going through a turbulent time. The Californian group is accused by American authorities and employees of having allowed a sexist corporate culture to develop by not having sufficiently cracked down on cases of sexual assault and harassment.

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