Microsoft's proposed $68.7 billion buyout of Activision-Blizzard is proceeding quickly, Microsoft company president says.
In a recent with Belgian business newspaper L'Echo, Microsoft's Brad Smith says the Activision deal is making good progress.
"It's moving fast, at least fast enough for an acquisition of this size," Smith said. "We're coming to the end of the beginning and now we're entering the beginning of the middle," Microsoft's legal counsel told Smith.
The company president also confirms the FTC has issued a Second Request for more information on the buyout.
"We have received requests for information on this subject here in Brussels, but also in London and Washington. We answer questions, we give briefings and we provide the information requested."
This means the deal is currently in its third and fourth stages. Both Activision and Microsoft are required to send as much information as requested by the FTC in order to make an overall judgement on the deal's merits, shortfalls, or possible anti-trust.
The information includes but is not limited to company-wide data like KPIs, sales revenues, game releases, in-production titles, and pretty much anything and everything available in digital ledgers or filing cabinets.
Once the FTC has as much information it needs, it has 30 days to determine the outcome of the deal. It can challenge the deal with a court order, require stipulations or changes to the deal (for example, requiring Call of Duty to stay on PlayStation, or preventing Blizzard or King from being part of the deal), or let the deal go through.
As we noted in previous coverage, there are five stages to acquisition deals:
- Both parties create a filing
- Deal is handed to either FTC or DOJ for review
- Deal is passed or agencies issue Second Request
- Both parties comply with Second Request, agency reviews data for 30 days
- Agency lets the deal go through or opposes it in court
The FTC is currently reviewing Sony's $3.6 billion buyout of Bungie, too.
"It's a long process and we're still at the stage where we're answering questions. For us, of course, the sooner it is done the better, but we will respect the process," Smit says.
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