Microsoft CEO Is Confident About Activision Deal Approval, Handling of Economy – Slashdot

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said he’s confident the company can gain regulatory approval for its $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard even in the face of an in-depth regulatory probe in the UK. From a report: “Of course, any acquisition of this size will go through scrutiny, but we feel very, very confident that we’ll come out,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Nadella’s prediction puts him at odds with investors’ skepticism about the deal. While Activision rose Thursday, outperforming a slump in tech stocks, Wednesday’s close of $75.32 still left the company more than 20% below the offer price — a signal of massive doubt that Microsoft will ever be able to consummate the transaction. Microsoft is either the No. 4 or No. 5 competitor in the video game industry, depending on how you count, Nadella said. And the No. 1 player, Sony Group, has made several recent acquisitions. “So if this is about competition, let us have competition,” he said.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority said earlier this month that it decided to kick-start a longer review, a move that was expected after the CMA flagged concerns that the deal could lessen competition in the markets for consoles, subscriptions and cloud gaming. The combination with Activision — which owns franchises such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Guitar Hero — will make Microsoft the world’s third-largest gaming company. Nadella also expressed optimism that Microsoft can cope with a weaker economy and rising inflation — and help its customers endure as well. “The constraints are real — inflation is definitely all around us,” he said. “I always go back to the point that in an uncertain time, in an inflationary time, software is the deflationary force.”

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