Microsoft, Activision extend merger deadline

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have extended the deadline for the tech giant’s acquisition of the game developer, Activision Blizzard announced Wednesday. 

The deadline, which would have been this week, has been pushed to Oct. 18, and the companies are still facing hurdles by U.K. regulators to approve the deal.

As part of the extension, there will be a higher termination fee and new commercial arrangements, according to Activision.

“The recent decision in the U.S. and approvals in 40 countries all validate that the deal is good for competition, players, and the future of gaming,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said in a statement.

“Given global regulatory approvals and the companies’ confidence that CMA now recognizes there are remedies available to meet their concerns in the UK, the Activision Blizzard and Microsoft boards of directors have authorized the companies not to terminate the deal until after October 18,” the spokesperson added, referring to The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). “We’re confident in our next steps and that our deal will quickly close.”

Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, confirmed the extension and the company’s intent to go forward with the acquisition. 

“We’re optimistic about getting this done, and excited about bringing more games to more players everywhere,” Spencer tweeted

A British judge had conditionally approved a joint request from Microsoft and regulators from the CMA to delay an appeal set in motion after the agency initially rejected the deal.

The agency later pushed back its final decision so it can consider the company’s argument that new developments should change the equation.

CMA announced in April that it blocked Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision, citing concerns that the potential merger could harm the future of cloud gaming. The agency announced in September it would launch a probe into the $68.7 billion deal to acquire the makers of the popular “Call of Duty” franchise. 

The deal has already gained the approval of the European Union and a slew of other countries.

The Associated Press contributed.

Updated at 10:11 a.m.


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