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Activision Blizzard: Shareholders vote for Microsoft . deal

Activision Blizzard: Shareholders vote for Microsoft . deal

By a large majority, Activision Blizzard shareholders approved the planned acquisition by Microsoft. In Thursday’s vote, 98 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the billion-dollar deal that could mean the end of Activision Blizzard’s independence.

This means that one of the obstacles in the path of acquisition has been overcome. But the biggest challenge still lies ahead: competition authorities have yet to approve the takeover. This isn’t a sure success: The responsible US authority, the Federal Trade Commission, has recently honed its image as an important cartel examiner. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Lina Khan is particularly concerned about the tech sector. Before she was named, Khan had criticized Amazon, among other things.

It was also the Federal Trade Commission that filed a lawsuit and put pressure on Nvidia in its planned acquisition of British company ARM. US competition authorities have argued that the planned takeover of ARM by US graphics card company Nvidia could slow innovations. Nvidia has since abandoned the deal.

Activision Blizzard takeover may also be threatened by FTC, Bloomberg reports. According to Microsoft, the deal will make it the third largest gaming company in the world after Sony and Tencent. With a size of $69 billion, the acquisition will be the most expensive acquisition in the company’s history. Last year, Microsoft bought Zenimax Media, the parent company of the popular gaming company Bethesda, for $7.5 billion.

Recently, several well-known US senators, including Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Independent Bernie Sanders, have spoken out against the planned deal. In a joint letter to FTC chief Khan, senators raised concerns about Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the Wall Street Journal reported. In the speech, they emphasized on the one hand their concerns about further consolidation into the technology sector. But the senators also addressed the history of game publisher Activision Blizzard, which has been accused of sexual harassment and discrimination against female employees in several proceedings.

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