Enlarge / Just some of the Activision franchises that will become Microsoft property if and when the acquisition is complete.

Microsoft / Activision

On Thursday, Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard cleared the second-biggest hurdle remaining in their plan to complete a $68.7 billion acquisition deal: buy-in from existing shareholders.

ATVI shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve Microsoft’s bid to acquire Activision-Blizzard A company announcement counted over 98 percent of the shareholder votes in the “Yes” column.

At the dollar-and-cent level, anyone who currently owns Activision stock is probably interested in the potential windfall that’s in store should the deal go through. Ahead of Thursday morning’s shareholder vote, Activision’s stock prices were trading around $76 per share, while Microsoft’s acquisition terms include a buyout amount of $95 per share.

The FTC is next, and critics claim ‘undue concentration of market power’

This stock price has been steadily down since an uptrend on Jan. 18, the day Microsoft and Activision announced their potential deal. As Bloomberg points out, the gap between the current trading price and the takeover valuation is larger than for many significant mergers and acquisitions happening particularly in the United States the upcoming Twitter buyout led by Elon Musk. Such gaps often indicate a lack of market confidence in a proposed transaction surviving regulatory scrutiny.

Sure enough, Federal Trade Commission approval remains the final likely hurdle to Microsoft’s acquisition deal surviving before the deal can officially take shape, and at press time, The FTC will reportedly take the lead in conducting an antitrust review of the deal. This follows an announcement on January 18th (yes, the same day Microsoft announced its acquisition intentions). the FTC and the US Department of Justice solicited public comment on their efforts “To better detect and prevent illegal, anti-competitive business in today’s modern markets.”

Shortly thereafter, critics of the proposed merger between Microsoft and Activision published open letters denouncing the deal and highlighting its antitrust aspects. such a letter published on March 1st and signed by 15 stakeholders, claimed that the deal “may result in an undue concentration of market power if viewed as a vertical or horizontal merger, threatens privacy and security, undermines consumer protections online, affects consumers’ right to repair, and disempowers and wages suppression.” workers tightened. The letters’ claims about Microsoft’s influence in the video game and cloud computing markets were arguably compounded by Microsoft’s upbeat financials earlier this weekpointing to continued sales jumps in these two markets.

If the acquisition passes all regulatory scrutiny, Microsoft will likely still have to contend with significant fallout from Activision and Blizzard, mostly in the form of continued legal pressure over widespread allegations of wage inequality and sexual harassment across Activision Blizzard’s network of game studios. This case entered a bizarre new phase earlier this month A top California prosecutor for the case resigned in protestwhich pointed to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to fire a senior attorney at the agency handling the state’s lawsuit.

The games keep coming

But Activision Blizzard is going full steam ahead when it comes to launching new video games and teasers. Hours after the conclusion of Thursday’s shareholder vote, the company announced a countdown to a new WarCraft Game announcement at 1:00 PM ET on Tuesday, May 3rd. The game in question is set to come to mobile phones, and Blizzard has announced “exciting news for heroes of Azeroth who want to take their adventures on the go.”

This language suggests some kind of full-fledged “adventure” in the WarCraft universe, as opposed to a smartphone-style puzzle or idle game, but it’s not necessarily a clear indication of what’s to come. For a better guess, we turn to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, who Suggested ResetERA on the gaming forum earlier this week that Blizzard is currently working on at least two smartphone games WarCraft Universe and those he knows of are “one Pokemon Go [and] another collision-ish one”, refers to both clash of clans or Clash Royale.

This news follows the long-awaited beta for surveillance 2 finally going live on Tuesday, whose Twitch streams immediately broke viewership records for Blizzard games. Simultaneous viewership exceeded 1.4 million this week, probably due to a Twitch campaign that gave viewers free beta keys as “drops” so that they could access the beta on their own PCs during the three-week test. And in by far the least surprising news related to Activision, the company also revealed the first logo and the foretaste of the next call of Duty video game synced on Thursday Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2– Apparently a sequel to that cod Spinoffs reboot 2019unlike a remaster of the original sequel from 2009 (not confusing at all, no).

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