Back in January, Microsoft Corp MSFT announced the company was acquiring game developer and interactive entertainment content publisher Activision Blizzard ATVI.
On Wednesday, Microsoft President Brad Smith and his attorneys will be heading to Washington D.C. to meet with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) three Democratic members — FTC Chair Lina Khan and commissioners Rebecca Slaughter and Alvaro Bedoya — to ensure the deal isn’t scrapped due to anti-trust concerns, reported the New York Post from unnamed sources. Republican FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson has already voiced support.
The deal is for $95 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 to $69 billion, and if it goes through, Microsoft will become the third-largest gaming company by revenue in the world.
The FTC’s commissioners are scheduled for a closed-door meeting on Thursday to discuss the merger and “There’s an outside chance they could vote on it," the Post’s sources added, noting the FTC could also meet to vote on the deal later this month. Microsoft thought the FTC would make its final ruling in the first quarter of 2023.
On Dec. 5, CEO Smith wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed stating that Microsoft offered Sony a 10-year contract to make future Call of Duty games available on Sony PlayStation if the Activision Blizzard acquisition happens. Sony has been one of the loudest objectors to the deal.
Since the deal announcement, it has hit a number of other bumps in the road, including the European Union’s concerns that the tech giant "may foreclose access" to Activision's games.
In early October, a page went up on its site to outline its vision for gaming being “more choice and more games for people everywhere” and citing the benefits for players, game creators and the gaming industry, something also echoed in the Wall Street Journal op-ed.
Can all of this help? Time will tell as a 2-2 vote from the FTC would not only fail to block the deal, says the New York Post, but also would result in it getting cleared without any major conditions imposed by a settlement, including the concessions it has recently pledged to Sony.
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