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The $70 billion Activision merger is keeping Phil Spencer up at night

Microsoft's massive $70 billion Activision buyout is stressful but also exciting, and Xbox CEO Phil Spencer says it 'keeps me up at night sometimes'

The $70 billion Activision merger is keeping Phil Spencer up at night
Published Oct 31, 2022 11:03 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Nov 28 2022 4:34 PM CST
2 minutes & 7 seconds read time

At $68.7 billion, the Microsoft-Activision merger is 7x bigger than any other major acquisition in the games industry. That kind of weight is enough to keep anyone up at night, even Phil Spencer, who is still confident the deal will go through.

The $70 billion Activision merger is keeping Phil Spencer up at night 2

Microsoft apparently isn't getting off easy with its proposed buyout of Activision-Blizzard. Regulators like the FTC, CMA, and European Commission are closely scrutinizing the deal and asking "good, honest questions" while Microsoft lays out its intentions, plans, and data for worldwide regulators. Some, like Saudi Arabia's GAC and Brazil's CADE have already approved the deal.

This is likely a stressful time for Microsoft and the Xbox division, but it's also an exciting point of potential transformation. With the help of Activision's teams, Microsoft hopes to exponentially grow its Xbox gaming division to reach all platforms and significantly boost its overall content value. Even still, it's enough to keep major Xbox executives like Phil Spencer up at night.

"I'm spending time with regulators, I think they're asking good, honest questions about a big deal--the biggest deal Microsoft has ever done. It's definitely the biggest deal I've ever done, and it keeps me up at night sometimes," Phil Spencer said.

And rightly so. Microsoft has to make sure it has all of its ducks in a row in order to present, argue, and defend its past, current, and future business plans as competitive and fair. This requires tons of data and expert opinions to provide critical context on the data, and lots of patience as regulators comb through the information while simultaneously asking tough questions.

Spencer goes on to talk about the Activision Blizzard King teams and their treasure trove of back catalog titles and IP, while also highlighting the company's mobile presence (which is growing rapidly outside of Candy Crush and King).

"I'm excited about the opportunity. I know a lot of the teams there. We've been working with them for years in terms of shipping great games on the platform, and they just have skills that we don't have.

"Definitely as we talk about platforms, they've done so much on mobile that we've never done, when I think about the back catalog at places like blizzard and Activision I think there's an incredible treasure trove of games. The teams there are very motivated to continue to make progress on the work that they're doing in building games.

"I'm spending a lot of time as is the team with regulation, I know it's a normal part of the process, and I'm confident and I'm excited. I think I'm going to learn a ton as we go through this."

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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