Sony Shares Slump as Microsoft Announce Activision Acquisition
Yesterday, Microsoft announced the proposed purchase of game developer Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion.
The acquisition not only represents the biggest deal in the history of the gaming industry, but also the largest cash acquisition of any company on record.
Microsoft is offering $95 per share, which represents a whopping 45% premium to Activision’s close price on Friday. In response, Activision’s share price jumped more than 25% during yesterday’s session on Wall Street, closing at $82.31 a share, which still represents a large discount against Microsoft’s offer price.
On the other side of the world, however, Microsoft’s largest video gaming competitor Sony’s share price fell 12.8% in response to the news during the Tokyo session on Wednesday.
The fall in the stock market came amidst speculation that the acquisition could see Activision titles pulled from PlayStation systems. Sony’s PlayStation has long had the edge in sales over Microsoft’s Xbox, but, if true, the exodus of popular games such as “Call of Duty” would be a significant blow to Sony.
However, as with most things in life, the issue is not quite so black and white. PlayStation represents a major source of revenue for Activision, which would complicate any move by Microsoft to remove game titles from Sony’s platform.
Regardless of this, Sony may now find themselves under pressure to improve their own services to customers, as Microsoft aggressively expands its Game Pass subscription, where customers pay a flat fee to access a range of different video games. This, in turn, may motivate Sony to pursue its own acquisitions, or even to make a counteroffer for Activision.
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