A little extra time to ensure it goes through
Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are pushing back a notable deadline in the ongoing merger talks. Originally set for July 18, the merger agreement deadline for the companies has now been pushed out to October 18.
This extension is to allow for “additional time to resolve remaining regulatory concerns,” according to a statement from Microsoft president Brad Smith.
“We will honor all commitments agreed upon with the EC and other regulators and continue to work with the CMA on the issues raised in the UK,” said Smith. “We are confident about our prospects for getting this deal across the finish line.”
Microsoft recently won over the FTC in a court case, denying a preliminary injunction on the deal. Not long after the decision was rendered, Microsoft and the UK’s CMA seem to have gone back to the table, after the latter blocked the deal earlier this year.
“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,” said Activision Blizzard CCO Lulu Cheng Meservey in a statement. “We’re confident in our next steps and that our deal will quickly close.”
Xbox head Phil Spencer also stated the company is “optimistic” about getting the deal done. Though it’s worth noting that with these exceptions, the termination fees also go up. Microsoft’s payable fee if the agreement doesn’t go through bumps up to $3.5 billion on August 29, and higher to $4.5 billion on September 15.
The future of Xbox
Even with that billion-dollar pressure, the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal seems to be full-steam ahead. After the FTC ruling, it seems much more likely that Activision-Blizzard will fall under the Xbox umbrella by year’s end.
The next big calendar day to watch for August 29, which is the CMA’s updated final order date.