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Microsoft CEO 'Confident' Activision Blizzard Acquisition Will Close

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says he's "very confident" his company's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard will go through despite increased scrutiny at home and abroad.

The deal's most recent stumbling block came in the form of a report by the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority, which announced it would deliver a more probing "phase 2" report because the acquisition could adversely affect competition in the video game market. The report highlighted potential threats to competition in "gaming consoles, multi-game subscription services, and cloud gaming services."

Less than a week later, PlayStation head Jim Ryan called Microsoft's proposal to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for several years "inadequate on many levels," further highlighting the potential for market disruption the acquisition poses.

Investors have grown skeptical of the deal, with Activision's share price having dropped to 20% below the price offered by Microsoft.

Despite these challenges, Nadella told Bloomberg he still believes the deal will go through.

"Of course, any acquisition of this size will go through scrutiny, but we feel very, very confident that we'll come out," he said. He went on to argue Microsoft was the fourth or fifth biggest competitor in the games industry, with Sony the clear first. Sony has also made several acquisitions lately, such as Returnal developer Housemarque, Haven Studios, Demon's Souls remake developer Bluepoint, Destiny creator Bungie, and several more, but even combined these deals fall far short of the price tag on the Activision Blizzard acquisition.

If Nadella's right about the acquisition, it should close in summer 2023.