According to reports, Microsoft’s attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard, the publisher behind the popular game franchise Call of Duty, appeared to be in jeopardy. Despite this, an appeals process is said to be currently in progress. However, if this attempt is unsuccessful, it seems that Microsoft will be required to wait for a period of ten years before they can make another bid to acquire the company.
On the online forum ResetEra, the entire Activision Blizzard acquisition saga has been meticulously documented in an official thread spanning over 900 pages. The original poster, Idas, who happens to be a European antitrust lawyer, has provided valuable insights and analysis throughout the thread.
While we cannot claim to possess legal expertise and prefer to work in our cozy pajamas, we did come across a relevant excerpt from the final report on page 339, under article 11.29. The report suggests that if the merger is prohibited, the parties may be prevented from attempting to merge for a further period by accepting undertakings under section 82 of the Act or making an order under section 84 of the Act.
The report also states that it is standard practice to prohibit future mergers between the parties for the next decade, unless there is a change in circumstances.
Although we do not claim to have a complete understanding of the complex legal details, the excerpt on page 339 appears to be quite straightforward to our non-expert eyes. It suggests that if the merger is prohibited, the parties may be prevented from attempting to merge for a further period of ten years.
Microsoft has previously indicated that it believes ten years is enough time for Sony to create its own Call of Duty competitor. Therefore, it is possible that Microsoft could do the same in a similar time frame.
It remains unclear whether this acquisition deal is truly dead or if there are any surprises yet to be revealed. We would love to hear your thoughts on this matter, so feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.