Microsoft to buy Call of Duty maker in mammoth-sized $68bn deal

Microsoft has announced a record $68.7 billion deal to acquire the makers of the popular first person shooter series Call of Duty, Activision Blizzard.

The deal, which was announced on Tuesday, marks the biggest deal in the history of the gaming industry and will be the largest all-cash acquisition on record.

Microsoft aims to take on its rivals Tencent and Sony in the gaming industry after also acquiring Bethesda early last year.

“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella told Reuters.

Microsoft is offering $95 per share, which is a 45% premium to Activision’s Friday close.

READ MORE: Amazon shares spike after Pentagon scraps $10bn Microsoft deal

There are still potential sticking points to the deal however, with the US tech company so far managing to avoid the type of scrutiny its Silicon Valley counterparts Google and Facebook have come under.

But this deal will likely put the maker of the Xbox games console on the radar of lawmakers, Andre Barlow of the law firm Doyle, Barlow & Mazard PLLC said.

A source close to the matter told Reuters that Microsoft would pay a $3 billion break-fee if the deal collapses through, which suggest it is confident of winning approval from antitrust regulators.

Activision has had a turbulent few years with its widely popular Call of Duty titles receiving widespread criticism from the gaming industry for numerous bugs and disappointing releases.

It has also suffered from allegations of sexual harassment of employees and misconduct from several top managers, which is still under investigation.

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