‘That’s When Microsoft Called’

Jordon Novet, reporting for CNBC:

Microsoft first reached out to game publisher Activision Blizzard about a possible tie-up the same week a media report landed asserting that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick had known for years about alleged cases of sexual assault at the company, according to a regulatory filing released on Friday.

The filing indicates that the companies began negotiations in November, two months before agreeing to a $68.7 billion deal that would be the largest purchase ever for a U.S. technology company. For Microsoft, the timing was opportunistic. On Nov. 16, the Wall Street Journal reported that women had accused Kotick of mistreatment. While he knew about allegations of misconduct, he didn’t share all the relevant information with the company’s board, the Journal said.

Activision shares sank 11% in the four trading days after the story. That’s when Microsoft called, the new filing with the SEC shows.

Like I wrote last month, “this deal was some Old Testament ass-kicking Microsoft.” I think the ballgame was over the moment Xbox chief Phil Spencer’s memo “leaked” on November 18.

Saturday, 19 February 2022