L’acquisition of Activision from Microsoft has yet to be examined by the competent bodies, therefore the company has published, as per standard, a official document summarizing all the events which led to the proposal by the Redmond house, allowing you to see how things have unfolded.
The document published by the SEC allows you to have a chronology precise: it is a rather heavy reading but it can be interesting to understand how what could be the largest acquisition in the history of video games took place. With the FTC examining the case, it is not certain that the thing will go through, also given the recent case of Nvidia and ARM, but the situation between Microsoft and Activision is somewhat different, so it is difficult to make predictions.
In the meantime, it is interesting to see how the discussions took place, also because one emerges strategy quite precise by Phil Spencer. Based on the timing of the contacts with Activision, it seems quite clear that the Xbox boss has aimed to exploit a moment of weakness in the publisher so that he can reach a more favorable agreement with a greater chance of success.
In fact, it appears that Phil Spencer has contacted Bobby Kotick three days after the release of the famous scandal involving the Activision boss involved in the abuse issue, reported by the Wall Street Journal. Practically the day after Phil Spencer had reported that he wanted to “re-evaluate” the relationship between Microsoft and Activision, the call came between Spencer and Kotick for the possible acquisition.
In fact, it was definitely a “reassessment” of relationships, no doubt. In such a situation, Activision Blizzard was obviously more inclined to accept the acquisition and, above all, the investors could have assessed the prospect of a total change of management much more positively, with Kotick scheduled to leave the scene.
In the phone call from Spencer it seems that the head of Xbox has discussed “strategic opportunities between Activision Blizzard and Microsoft” and reported a possible call by Satya Nadella the following day, which in fact happened on Saturday with an acquisition proposal. more explicit and formal, sparking a series of discussions between the companies.
Another interesting element that emerges is the fact that Activision Blizzard was already in contact with other 4 companies for a possible acquisition, but these are not spelled out in the document, which refers to them simply as companies “A, C, D, and E”. Among other curious elements is the confirmation that Microsoft should pay between 2 and 3 billion dollars in compensation in the event that the acquisition is blocked by the antitrust bodies, but it also emerges that, if the shareholders of Activision should they ultimately vote against the acquisition, Kotick’s company would pay $ 2.27 billion to Microsoft.