Activision Blizzard shareholders overwhelmingly approved a planned sale to Microsoft on Thursday, with 98% voting in favor of the proposed deal. But while the outcome of the vote was largely expected, the real hurdle going forward will be clearing the Biden administration's newly invigorated FTC under appointee Lisa Khan.
Shares for Activision Blizzard traded on Thursday at about $77, well under the $95 premium Microsoft has agreed to pay if the deal is approved, suggesting some investors are concerned that the real risk lies in advancing the deal past the FTC.
Khan has been vocal about taking more aggressive action against Big Tech and adjacent industries since taking the job last year, and the agency is now pursuing a revised case against Facebook-owner Meta with the intention of scrutinizing its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. The deal has until June 2023 to close.
“Today’s overwhelmingly supportive vote by our stockholders confirms our shared belief that, combined with Microsoft, we will be even better positioned to create great value for our players, even greater opportunities for our employees, and to continue our focus on becoming an inspiring example of a welcoming, respectful, and inclusive workplace,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement.