Microsoft made the surprise announcement that it would be acquiring Activision Blizzard for a huge US$68.7 billion last month. Surprising as it may have been to the average person, the people behind the companies have been discussing the terms of the deal for a couple of months prior. In fact, the talks started a couple of days after the WSJ sexual misconduct report back in November last year.
According to CNBC, regulatory filings show an interesting flow of events. First was the WSJ report that landed on 16 November. Two days later, Xbox head Phil Spencer then made an internal statement about its public relationship with the video games publisher, as did the heads of the other two console makers.
Just the next day, which is to say 19 November, Spencer would tell Activision CEO Bobby Kotick that Microsoft wanted to talk about strategic opportunities between the two companies. And then, one day later, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella would tell Kotick that he wanted to explore an acquisition.
Microsoft was certainly quick to make its business move, to say the least. While Xbox head Phil Spencer may have said that it’s looking to evaluate the company’s relationship with Activision Blizzard, that evaluation ending up in an acquisition was certainly not what the average person would’ve expected.