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Microsoft shares are way up after the Activision deal gets “prevented”

Microsoft shares leap in value, while Call of Duty, WoW, and Diablo 4 studio Activision Blizzard drops sharply after the merger deal is blocked by the CMA.

Microsoft shares are way up after the Activision deal is “prevented”: A demon with huge horns, Lilith from RPG game Diablo 4

Microsoft shares have seen a significant jump, while Diablo 4, WoW, and Call of Duty studio Activision Blizzard has seen its own stocks take a sharp downturn, after the merger deal between the two companies was “prevented” by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Concerns regarding consumer choice, competition, and cloud gaming – particularly relating to the availability of Activision’s FPS and RPG games on Game Pass – led the CMA to its decision, though both Microsoft and the Activision Blizzard plan to appeal.

Closing at $275.56 (£221.48) on Tuesday April 25, Microsoft’s shares leaped to a 52-week high of $299.57 (£240.78) following the CMA’s judgement on April 26, before closing at $295.37 (£237.40), up more than 7% compared to the previous day. Potentially, this spike was caused by relief among investors, who believe that Microsoft has overvalued Activision Blizzard at $69 billion (£55 billion), the approximate amount Microsoft is spending to acquire the World of Warcraft and Warzone studio.

While Microsoft’s shares jumped, Activision Blizzard’s experienced a steep decline, dropping from $86.78 (£69.75) to $79.01 (£63.50) immediately following the CMA’s ruling, before closing on April 26 at $76.80 (£61.73), down more than 11% from the previous day. You can see how Activision Blizzard’s share price was affected by the ruling in the image below, which comes courtesy of Yahoo Finance, and tracks Activision Blizzard’s shares throughout April 26:

Microsoft shares are way up after the Activision deal is “prevented”: A graph showing how Activision Blizzard's share price has been affected by the Microsoft deal collapse

After facing opposition from the CMA in January, Microsoft proposed a series of remedies to address the Authority’s concerns regarding the potential lessening of competition and consumer choice that the merger represented. In its April 26 ruling however, the CMA said it would “prevent” the deal, as its “potential benefits” would not “outweigh” harm to consumers.

Microsoft vice president Brad Smith and Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick both issued statements in reply, saying that the respective companies would appeal the CMA’s decision. “This isn’t the news we wanted,” Kotick said, “but it is far from the final word on this deal.”

Activision Blizzard is meanwhile preparing for the Diablo 4 release date, and you can get ahead of the curve by checking out all the Diablo 4 classes as well as the newly released Diablo 4 system requirements, because it’s Sanctuary that’s meant to be on fire, not your PC.