Morning Sun

Microsoft buys game maker Activision Blizzard for about $70B


Microsoft is paying nearly $70 billion for Activision Blizzard, the maker of Candy Crush and Call of Duty, to boost its competitiv­eness in mobile gaming and virtualrea­lity technology.

The all-cash $68.7 billion deal will turn Microsoft, maker of the Xbox gaming system, into one of the world’s largest video game companies. It will also help it compete with tech rivals such as Meta, formerly Facebook, in creating immersive virtual worlds for both work and play.

If the deal survives scrutiny from U.S. and European regulators in the coming months, it also could be one of the biggest tech acquisitio­ns in history. Dell bought datastorag­e company EMC in 2016 for around $60 billion.

Activision has been buffeted for months by allegation­s of misconduct and unequal pay. That was addressed Tuesday by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a conference call with investors.

“The culture of our organizati­on is my No. 1 priority,” Nadella said, adding that “it’s critical for Activision Blizzard to drive forward on its” commitment­s to improve its workplace culture. Activision disclosed last year it was being investigat­ed by the Securities and Exchange Commission over complaints of workplace discrimina­tion and in September settled claims brought by U.S. workforce discrimina­tion regulators. California’s civil rights agency sued the Santa Monica-based company in July, citing a “frat boy” culture that had become a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimina­tion against women.”

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