Xbox / Activision: the acquisition of Microsoft may fail according to several sources | Xbox One

The case of Activision Blizzard’s takeover by Microsoft currently remains in the hands of competition regulators in several countries. While the European Commission will announce today an in-depth investigation, it is still necessary to be patient before seeing the first concrete results of these investigations. But sources close to Activision evoke a new pessimistic scenario.

Investor and analyst skepticism is growing over Microsoft’s takeover

Insiders and analysts close to Activision spoke to New York Post reporters about progress on Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. According to them, the fact that the deep investigation is increasing and the latest development does not go in the direction of Microsoft will be an important vector of doubt on the part of investors.

Analysts say Microsoft wants to take advantage of its good relationship with regulators to quickly push through the Activision Blizzard takeover without assuming that more in-depth investigations will be conducted. The pressure is growing for Microsoft between the strong opposition of Sony and the doubts of the regulatory bodies.

Despite the fact that Microsoft claims to want to continue the Call of Duty license on all platforms on several occasions, the regulatory authorities still doubt it and it must be said that the behavior of the Redmond company does not help in the situation. Ahead of the EU’s in-depth investigation launched today, Microsoft refused to offer EU regulators legal remedies, Reuters reported. The group has the option of offering the EU so-called behavioral remedies, such as a formal promise to keep PlayStation’s Call of Duty license. Microsoft does not want to do this and despite the fact that the American company always has the possibility to do it later, this behavior remains doubtful for the investigators.

Activision insiders are calling on Microsoft to hunker down

Faced with this, Activision analysts apparently asked Microsoft to adopt a more accommodating position with regulators. In addition, the group’s shareholders will be compensated if Microsoft makes any concessions. Here’s what a hedge fund analyst following the case had to say:

“If you’re Activision, you want to give Microsoft everything for free forever. But that would obviously destroy the economics of the deal”.

Dan Ives, managing director of Wedbush Securities, added this

“Microsoft’s decision to buy Activision is about exclusivity. If giving up exclusivity is one of the concessions necessary, Microsoft will have to think long and hard to determine if this is still the right deal. Microsoft didn’t buy this asset so that other companies could use Activision’s games to the same extent. It all depends on what the concessions are.”

For Clay Griffin, research analyst at MoffettNathanson, the same was found:

“Microsoft will not be forced to accept draconian terms”.

What emerges from these testimonies is that the possibility of Activision making Xbox games exclusive one day or another remains a major attraction of this acquisition for Microsoft, despite the statements of Phil Spencer. If Microsoft signs a legal agreement that ensures that no Activision games will be exclusive to Xbox consoles, the acquisition could lose Microsoft’s interest and be a violation of the agreement, according to the same sources. .

Now, Microsoft is legally obligated to do everything possible to complete the acquisition. Otherwise, Activision could sue the Xbox maker if it believes the company led by Satya Nadella is deliberately blocking the takeover. Spokespeople for both companies passed the buck and remained very confident. Here’s what Activision has to say:

“We appreciate our close working relationship with Microsoft. We are confident in the agreement and its evolution, and we know that Microsoft is working diligently to achieve it. Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue.”

A Microsoft spokesperson told the New York Post:

“From the moment this acquisition was announced, we have worked urgently to demonstrate that we mean business and are taking the necessary steps to secure approval – including making proactive commitments about how we will manage the our business with players and developers at the center. The process is progressing as planned and we are still looking forward to finalizing the agreement on schedule.”

Testimonies that are less persuasive for the rest of the case, but nevertheless relevant and important for having a more global reading of this acquisition factor and will continue to create a lot of ink flow in the future month. Activision and Microsoft have recently reiterated their confidence in the possibility of a deal that is expected in June 2023.

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