Activision Blizzard said on Wednesday that it has extended the deadline for closing on its $69 billion (roughly Rs. 5,66,200 crore) acquisition by Microsoft to October 18 as the companies work to get approval from the UK’s antitrust authority.
The “Call of Duty” publisher said the companies have also agreed to increase the termination fee of the deal to $3.5 billion (roughly Rs. 28.7 billion) from $3 billion (roughly Rs. 24.6 billion) if it is not closed by August 29. The fee will further increase to $4.5 billion (roughly Rs. 36,900 crore) after September 15.
The two US companies originally agreed to close the deal by July 18, but US regulatory efforts to block the takeover and Britain’s push to restructure have delayed closing.
The US Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) offer to temporarily halt the deal was denied twice, first by a federal judge and then by an appeals court.
Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had earlier decided to block the deal, but reversed course last week and extended its deadline for a final ruling to August 29 after the US court’s ruling left Britain alone in opposition.
Regulators in both countries have various concerns about the deal.
The FTC said the settlement could allow Microsoft to downgrade Activision’s game quality or player experience on rival consoles such as Nintendo and Sony Group’s PlayStation, as well as manipulate prices or change the terms or time of access to Activision’s content.
The CMA questioned whether the deal could hinder competition in the cloud gaming industry, where users can play games on any device using subscriptions like Xbox Game Pass that offer a wide selection of games.
Microsoft responded to these concerns by offering 10-year license agreements to rivals after the deal closes. The latest was a deal with Sony Group to keep “Call of Duty” on PlayStation, Microsoft’s biggest competitor to Xbox.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)