It’s now past midnight in the Pacific time zone as this story is being posted. That means that Microsoft’s deadline of July 18 to close the deal to purchase Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, which was first announced in January 2022, has come and gone. As of this writing, neither company has issued a press release or filed an update to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about any kind of extension of this deadline.
Officially, that means both companies could choose to not go through with the deal, and Microsoft could even pay a $3 billion breakup fee to Activision Blizzard. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, both companies are still committed to this deal and are working to finally bring it to its conclusion.
Of course, there’s a small risk to Microsoft that Activision Blizzard could decide to end the deal, especially since another company, in theory, could now jump in with a counter-offer. At the moment, there’s no indication that will happen.
Last week, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) failed to convince both a federal judge and the higher appeals court to put a preliminary injunction on Microsoft to block the deal. That should be the last hurrah from the FTC in its attempts to keep Microsoft from buying Activision Blizzard.
However, there’s still the UK regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, to deal with. The CMA did decide to block the deal in late April, but after the FTC’s failed attempt to get the injunction approved, Microsoft and the CMA announced they had entered talks to resolve their differences. on Monday, the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).provisionally approved a request from all the interested parties to postpone the official appeals hearing of that CMA decision.
The CMA also announced an extension of its investigation until August 29, again to see if it can see if Microsoft can come up with an alternate proposal that would allow the regulator to approve the deal.
In other related news, Reuters reports that 22 Republican members of the US House of Representatives sent a letter to FTC chairperson Lina Khan this week. the lawmakers urged her to completely drop the agency’s fight against Microsoft’s plan to buy Activision Blizzard, stating that its previous actions were “an example of the FTC’s rejection of sound antitrust policy.”
Also, Variety reports that a last-ditch effort by a group of gamers to block the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard deal has ended. A request by the group’s lawyers to the US Supreme Court to take action was denied by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.