Activision Blizzard shareholders voted today to approve the company’s pending acquisition by Microsoft, but that doesn’t mean it’s a done deal, with several other hurdles remaining.
Announced via press release today, over 98% of shares voted in favor of the acquisition, which is expected to close sometime in the upcoming Microsoft fiscal year, which is between July 2022 and June 2023.
The voters approved the acquisition at $95 per share – considerably higher than the share price of late, which has been slowly dropping over the last month from the low-$80 range and has been hovering between $76 and $77 per share for the last few days.
The lowering share price ahead of the deal could indicate a lack of shareholder confidence that the deal will ultimately pass. Though the vote was overwhelming, a number of other possible challenges lie between now and the ultimate conclusion of the deal.
One key hurdle is the likelihood of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. Lina Khan, its recently-appointed head, has already shown a willingness to tackle big tech antitrust issues, including blocking an Nvidia acquisition and reopening the case against Meta. The deal will also require regulatory approvals abroad, including in China.
The Activision Blizzard acquisition comes at a time of ongoing turbulance within and around the company. The deal itself has prompted accusations of insider trading, but even more notable is the ongoing California lawsuit against the publisher accusing it of fostering a “frat boy culture” as well as subjecting female employees to unequal pay and sexual harassment.
Since the lawsuit, over 1,000 employees have called for the removal of CEO Bobby Kotick after reports that he knew about a number of the sexual harassment and assault allegations. Though it”s unclear if Kotick will remain post-acquisition, he stands to receive a $15 million “golden parachute” compensation if he departs. You can see a full timeline of events related to the lawsuit here.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.