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Bobby Kotick and Phil Spencer Discuss Microsoft's Acquisition of Activision Blizzard on CNBC
18/01/2022 à 12:54
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and Microsoft Head of Gaming Phil Spencer appeared on CNBC Television's 'Squawk on the Street' to break down Microsoft's decision to buy Activision. The biggest acquisition in gaming history, that
$68.7 billion deal
came a shock to everyone this morning, especially considering
Spencer remarks last year
, in which he said Xbox would be reevaluating their relationship, implying that Microsoft would be distancing itself from Activision rather than drawing closer together.
Throughout the five minute segment, Kotick spoke about the long-time partnership between Microsoft and Activision, citing the ongoing development of metaverse platforms as a key factor in the decision. Spencer elaborated further, citing their close working relationship and a global market of three billion gamers as an influence, while noting that the acquisition came together very quickly - beginning with talks late last year. Spencer sidestepped a question on everyone's mind, as to whether Activision's dwindling share price was a factor in the acquisition - down about 27% year to date - though since the announcement, Activision's market price has skyrocketed +25% to $81.82, much closer to Microsoft's purchasing price of $95 per share and Activision Blizzard's all time high of $103.81 in February of last year.
The Activision Blizzard stock price has gone through a remarkable series of twists over the last six months.
Also questioned was how Kotick was addressing concerns raised in reports shared by the Wall Street Journal, to which he reiterated his
set an example within the industry
. Turning the same question back to Spencer, the head of Xbox acknowledged Activision Blizzard's current plans for instituting change (unspecified, but likely those aforementioned commitments, as well as Activision's
$18 million settlement with the EEOC
, which includes stipulations of third party oversight), concluding that workplace culture has long been a focus and that the employees feeling safe and heard was the most important thing to Microsoft - a statement which echoed comments made by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during a
conference call earlier today
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick also serves on the Coca-Cola Board of Directors.
The interview wrapped up with a question of whether there would be Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issues due to the ever increasing concentration in games development, as this deal will make Microsoft the world's third largest gaming conglomerate behind Sony and Tencent, to which Kotick stated that they've seen more competition than ever before as big players from Amazon to Disney have invested further into games development.
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