In an important breakthrough for tech giant Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) could be nearing completion after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated that Microsoft’s restructured deal “opens the door to the deal being cleared.”
The UK regulator commented, “While the CMA has identified limited residual concerns with the new deal, Microsoft has put forward remedies which the CMA has provisionally concluded should address these issues.” However, the CMA added that it still has “limited residual concerns that certain provisions in the sale of Activision’s cloud streaming rights to Ubisoft could be circumvented, terminated, or not enforced.”
Microsoft’s Vice Chair and President, Brad Smith, welcomed the decision and commented, “We are encouraged by this positive development in the CMA’s review process. We presented solutions that we believe fully address the CMA’s remaining concerns related to cloud game streaming, and we will continue to work toward earning approval to close prior to the October 18 deadline”
This acquisition is likely to catapult Microsoft into the gaming stratosphere, with control over renowned franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Although the acquisition has gained approval in the EU and China, it faced resistance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, with court battles and refilings. Now, with the UK signaling a positive outlook, Activision Blizzard’s shares are up, and the deal appears on track for closure by the October 18 deadline.
What is the Prediction for Microsoft in 2023?
Analysts are bullish on MSFT stock with a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 30 Buys, three Holds, and one Sell. The analysts have a consensus price target of $392.41, implying an upside potential of 23.04% at current levels.