Microsoft, Activision Blizzard Extend Deadline for $75 Billion Merger

The companies have until mid-October to gain U.K. regulatory approval

activision blizzard bobby kotick
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have agreed to a deadline extension until mid-October for their $75 billion merger in an effort to gain regulatory approval in the U.K., the companies announced Wednesday.

The deal was originally intended to close on Tuesday but the companies have agreed to an extension which will give them until Oct. 18 to complete the merger. The transaction would give Microsoft ownership of Activision’s product portfolio, which includes hit video games like “Call of Duty,” “Candy Crush” and “World of Warcraft.”

Microsoft announced intentions to acquire Activision in January 2022 in which the deal was valued at an adjusted $69 billion. The merger had no issues securing regulatory approval in Europe, China and other international markets, but it has been hindered in its regulatory efforts in the U.S. and U.K.

Just last week, a U.S. federal judge denied the FTC’s efforts to block the merger from going through. The FTC will appeal the decision by a trial court; however, the federal agency often drops its opposition to an acquisition if a judge denies an injunction.

With the decision from the U.S. federal judge on July 11, the only remaining obstacle to the merger is U.K. regulatory policy. The regulator has expressed concerns that the acquisition could damage the market for the future of video game streaming.

The U.K. regulator has agreed to consider a restructuring of the merger, adding that a new investigation into any acquisition changes must be conducted. The regulator did not mention how much longer that will delay the merger. 

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision is intended to strengthen the company’s presence in mobile gaming, which has become the largest sector of the industry according to revenue. 

If the merger is completed, Microsoft will be able to pad its video gaming offerings and claim victory over regulatory agencies attempting to prevent big tech deals.