The SOC Is Urging Activision Blizzard To Reject Microsoft Deal

We're going to bet you thought this whole merger situation between game studio mega giant Activision Blizzard and tech conglomerate Microsoft was a done deal, huh? Well, apparently not.

The deal was announced back in January when Microsoft announced the intention to buy the developer for $68.7 Billion - the largest-ever company acquisition in video game industry history. And, though we've all basically accepted that the two companies are now one, investors at Activision Blizzard are actually set to vote on whether to accept the deal or not during a special meeting on April 28th.
Will Activision Blizzard Become Part of Microsoft After All?
Not only would the merger fold the US's largest game development studio into the US's largest tech company, but it would also give the Xbox division of Microsoft sole ownership of games franchises such as Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro the Dragon.

The SOC Investment Group has now called on investors to reject the deal.

“This transaction fails to properly value Activision and its future earnings potential, in significant part because it ignores the role that the sexual harassment crisis—and the Activision board’s incompetent handling of it—has played in delaying product releases and depressing the share price. [We're] skeptical that any transaction with Microsoft (or a similar acquirer) would be viable, given the shift in the climate of anti-trust enforcement, as well as evident sources of potential harms to competition stemming from the merger."

The statement is referencing a recent string of workplace harassment cases within Activision Blizzard that have been getting a ton of press coverage throughout 2021 and 2022, of which SOC believes that the company has not properly responded to.
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Will the Government Even Allow the Merger?
The SOC isn't the only one with concerns about the merger. Multiple US senators have written into the FTC to voice their concerns about how this merger might impede unionization efforts by Activision Blizzard employees or stand in the way of these harassment allegations to be properly handled. The FTC itself is currently conducting a wide scale antitrust review of the deal to ensure that it doesn't give the company an unfair advantage in the market.

Even if the merger is voted in by the investors this month, the companies wouldn't expect the deal to be finalized and approved by the government until the beginning of 2023. There's still a long way to go.

So what do you think? Would you like to see the two companies merge?
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