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Game Mode: Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, and the future of gaming

This photo shows the logo for US gaming giant Blizzard Entertainment during the annual China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference, known as ChinaJoy, in Shanghai.
This photo shows the logo for US gaming giant Blizzard Entertainment during the annual China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference, known as ChinaJoy, in Shanghai.

The biggest tech acquisition ever is set to close any day now.

Microsoft’s intention to purchase video game developer Activision Blizzard was first announced in January 2022.

The Federal Trade Commission issued a complaint against the deal, saying it would harm competition in the gaming market. They also questioned the accessibility of Activision’s biggest franchise, “Call of Duty.”

That case went to trial — and Microsoft came out on top, proving that the acquisition wouldn’t be anti-competitive and agreeing to make sure “Call of Duty” wouldn’t be exclusive to its console, Xbox.

The deal still faces roadblocks in the United Kingdom, where the Competition and Markets Authority initially blocked the deal and is now holding a hearing to review it next month.

But despite those roadblocks, the deal is set to close. And it may change the business of video games for the foreseeable future. We convene a panel of experts to talk about the buyout.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

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Arfie Ghedi, Chris Castano
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