Activision Blizzard shareholders overwhelmingly approved the proposed Microsoft acquisition with a 98% yes vote. That binding vote means the deal moves to the next phase, but there’s still some cloud over the deal when it comes to regulatory hurdles that need to be cleared before the proposed acquisition and merger could happen next year. And there are concerns that it might not overcome those hurdles.
According to a Bloomberg report on the deal, the results of today’s vote will be officially announced next week and filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Activision Blizzard shares are currently around $77, slightly higher after the voting news. That’s 23% below Microsoft’s $95-per-share bid, and that gap could mean the doubts linger.
This could become one of the largest mergers in history and will have to clear regulatory hurdles not only in the US but also in Europe and China, with the Federal Trade Commission facing a major test. The FTC is now led by Lina Khan, who has watched technology mergers in the past and is dealing with a tougher stance. The FTC will determine if there is any potential antitrust action on a deal, and the agency has several cases involving other companies like Meta that are under similar scrutiny. Meta faces a monopoly lawsuit that could force parts of the company to separate.
As Bloomberg’s article this morning makes clear, today’s shareholder vote was always expected to pass. The market uncertainty stems from an FTC led by 2021-appointed Lina Khan, who is newly empowered and motivated to vigorously prosecute technology antitrust cases
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) April 28, 2022
The deal between Activision Blizzard and Microsoft has thus taken a step, although the offer, which was so much higher than the share price (which had fallen), was overwhelmingly expected to be accepted, despite some disagreements, particularly from activist shareholders.
Many further steps are in sight, also overseas. While the companies have until June 2023 to finalize their deal, long-term doubts remain as to whether things will actually close as proposed.
https://www.mmorpg.com/news/activision-blizzard-shareholders-accept-microsoft-sale-with-98-yes-votes-2000124911 Activision Blizzard shareholders accept Microsoft sale with 98% yes votes