Falling Activision stock could mean the Microsoft acquisition wont go through

Share prices appear to suggest that financial analysts don’t think Microsoft will complete its purchase Activision-Blizzard.

As pointed out by Bloomberg (opens in new tab), Microsoft has already agreed to pay $95 per share of the company in the deal, which was announced earlier this year. Back then, the Activision-Blizzard’s share price jumped to around $82, meaning a guaranteed profit of $13 per share (if you bought at that time) if or when the deal goes through.

Despite what might look like an automatic win, however, the company’s share value has continued to drop over the past few months, and now sits at $76.51 at time of writing. The idea that an increasing amount of money is being left on the table indicates that Wall Street investors don’t appear to think the deal with go through, which would mean the end of that $95 payout.

The Activision-Blizzard board is set to vote on whether to agree to the deal today (with a confusing subcommittee also deciding what will happen to beleaguered CEO Bobby Kotick). It’s thought that the board will accept the deal, but increased powers offered to the Federal Trade Commission – which will investigate the merger – mean that the deal could be blocked due to antitrust concerns. Bloomberg’s report suggests that some think the FTC would struggle to pin monopolization claims on Microsoft, but there’s clearly still some room for concern.

While the $69 billion deal will be the largest games industry merger ever – and by some margin – it’s not exactly gone smoothly. As well as the FTC’s interest in the acquisition, investigations of alleged insider trading and the ongoing Activision-Blizzard lawsuit have brought potentially undesirable attention to the companies involved. 

Activision’s flagship Call of Duty franchise is expected to remain available on PlayStation, even after its developers’ move to Xbox.

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