Microsoft executives are trying to appease the employees of the Xbox gaming business, and the plan to acquire Activision Blizzard for $69 billion is still a long way from being approved. They also emphasized that Microsoft’s success in the gaming industry does not depend entirely on the deal.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard would have been the largest deal in the history of the gaming industry. Britain’s antitrust regulators blocked the acquisition on Wednesday, potentially dealing a fatal blow to the deal.
In a divisional all-hands meeting on Thursday morning, Microsoft’s gaming chief Phil Spencer acknowledged that the company was disappointed and that the U.K. regulator’s decision will lead to the entire approval process, according to people familiar with the matter. was extended. However, Microsoft’s willingness to pursue the deal has not wavered, the source said.
Spencer said Microsoft President Brad Smith was up at 2 a.m. ET on Wednesday to draft a response to Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Amy Hood, the chief financial officer in charge of the acquisition, also held a senior management meeting that day, he said.
Spencer also stated that the purpose of this acquisition is to accelerate Microsoft’s plans in the game industry, but it does not represent the entirety of Microsoft’s game business strategy. Even if it fails to acquire Activision Blizzard, Microsoft’s game business strategy will advance.
In a statement Wednesday, the CMA said concerns about the deal could not be resolved by selling the hit game Call of Duty or other solutions, such as Microsoft’s commitment to make Activision’s titles available to rival platforms. Microsoft said it would appeal the ruling.
Microsoft has yet to respond to the circumstances of the internal meeting.