Microsoft is buy Activision Blizzard for $ 69 billion. For those of you who play video games or pay attention to video games – and there are many of you – we don’t need to explain why this is the Greatest Action.
Some of you may want a story. Remember when Disney bought a lot of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox empire, and started reuniting in Hollywood? After all.
Probably bigger: Sales are about the same size. Microsoft’s contract costs Activision nearly $ 69 billion, and Disney paid just $ 70 billion for Fox’s video studio and other assets. But the alliance – if you continue – is a horizontal and vertical merger, and includes Microsoft’s Xbox business, with major gaming tools such as Minecraft and Halo, one of the world’s most successful companies, with major responsibilities such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, by Candy Crush.
Despite the popularity of television and video games, video games are attracting the attention of the public: Microsoft estimates that there will be 3 billion players worldwide, with a total of 4.5 billion by 2030.
And if you want to be very happy: If any kind of future or real event that we have heard about in the last few years happens, it will be based on the game. Maybe The Future You don’t want to wear sunglasses all day. But wearing a weapon to shoot at strangers is not easy.
This is something Microsoft, which did not just happen by accident, is working on its eyeglasses, leans over to justify his contract. “Considering our vision of the future, we believe that there will be no one-size-fits-all,” Microsoft chief Satya Nadella said in a statement on Tuesday.
You can also read the words as a message to Lina Khan, chief of the Federal Trade Commission, along with other Biden human rights activists: I know it looks like we’re swallowing a lot of gaming business, but don’t think of this as an incentive for key companies – think of it as. competition against Facebook in new companies. Competition is good, isn’t it?
The deal will attract a lot of attention to Washington, which has been focusing on large and small productions by a number of technology companies – but has left Microsoft alone so far. (Surprisingly, Microsoft has long been at war with federal antitrust laws over its browser control over the past two decades; the company prevented breakage but lost its mojo on the road).
The deal carries a $ 3 billion fine – that is, the money Microsoft has to pay Activision as well as suspension by the regulators – which seems like a lot of money to you and me but with little beans in doing so. However, it should show the confidence of the two companies to make it happen. When it comes to making a case for Washington officials, you can expect Microsoft to argue that 1) its Xbox business is much smaller than Sony’s Playstation business and 2) that the future of gaming is mobile, which means Microsoft is not just competing. and Sony but with Apple and Google.
This is a good argument, but we will see. Microsoft has been moving away from its connectivity business – low-priced boxes that cost $ 300 or more, but prefer to change frequently – as well as its Netflix subscription game GamePass, where you pay the company $ 15 per month and can play its games on any device.
Microsoft already has 25 million subscribers on the project. I would not expect Microsoft to produce just one of GamePass’ s only big games – just like the videos and TV shows, games are as important as they are available to as many people as possible – but you can see why Khan is with him. friends will want to get involved in this.
Also to look at: What happens to the Activision leadership, which has been in the sexual realm for the past year or so. Last fall, the Wall Street Journal reported this CEO Bobby Kotick did not tell his board of directors about an employee who claimed to have been raped by a supervisor, and an out-of-court settlement. Recently, Activision claims to have “came out”Many employees after investigating harassment and other offenses.
There has been a lot of speculation in the gaming industry that this scam could ruin Kotick’s career and lead to the commercialization of Activision. Now, Microsoft says Kotick will continue to run his company after he finishes but will tell Phil Spencer, who runs Microsoft’s gaming business.
It is possible that Kotick will remain forever. But you don’t like to see people who run big companies and get big pay – Kotick made $ 154 million in 2020, which made him the second highest paid US employee that year – he spends a lot of time telling someone who reports to the CEO.
Again, all of this works if Microsoft finds regulators to sign. A few years ago, this would have seemed straightforward – Washington gave the big tech companies the go-ahead to buy whatever they wanted, and few responded. But most people are concerned about this. All because so many people play the game – hence the cost of $ 69 billion – is a small number of very popular people and very skeptical about allowing Big Tech to grow.