Microsoft to Buy Troubled Video Game Giant Activision Blizzard in $70B Deal

Financial Daily Dose 1.19.2022

January 19, 2022

Next up for Activision Blizzard, which we noted yesterday was in the midst of a 6-month process of shedding employees associated with a harassment scandal rocking its ranks: a new corporate owner. Microsoft announced its plans to buy the video game company for “nearly $70 billion, its biggest deal ever and one that places a major bet that people will be spending more and more time in the digital world” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and TechCrunch

In fact, Microsoft cited the metaverse as a driving force behind its acquisition. Does that check out? - NYTimes

Maybe, but don’t overlook the role that Activision’s ongoing HR debacle played in the deal - WSJ and Bloomberg

Some thoughts on how antitrust regulators are likely to view the purchase - WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

A Miami-based Federal Judge has approved Puerto Rico’s bid to “leave bankruptcy under the largest public-sector debt restructuring in the history of the United States, nearly five years after the finally strapped territory declared it could not pay its creditors.” The deal will shave reduce the largest portion of PR’s debt by 80% and “will save the government more than $50 billion debt payments” - NYTimes and WSJ and Law360

Following warnings of disaster ahead for onboard airline instruments, AT&T and Verizon agreed on Tuesday to delay rollout of their much-anticipated 5G service near some airports - NYTimes and WSJ and Marketplace

YouTube has shuttered its original programming department. The unit launched (and then spun off to Netflix) the “Cobra Kai” series, but most of its products failed to find an audience to justify the department’s future - WSJ

Drug powerhouse Teva Pharmaceutical has reached an agreement to pay $420 million “to resolve an investor class action accusing [it] of being at the center of an industrywide price-fixing scheme” – Law360

Self-imposed “time off” over, Vishal Garg—the founder and CEO who gained infamy and drew ire for firing “roughly 900 of his workers via Zoom last month”—is back at the helm of the mortgage lending company - NYTimes and TechCrunch

Texas and Arizona have joined Utah and Idaho as the four states in the U.S. that have recovered “all the jobs they lost at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, leading a trend that is expected to include another dozen states by the middle of this year” - WSJ

Ford’s reaping early returns on its investment in e-truck maker Rivian. The Blue Ovalers are expected to “record a gain of $8.2 billion in the fourth quarter” thanks to Rivian’s late 2021 IPO  - Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Feeling you, Carter.  Feeling you, buddy. Also, bonus points for the strong chyron game here - Mashable

Stay safe, and get boosted,



The Robins Kaplan Financial Daily Dose features top stories and latest news headlines in financial markets, banking, securities and technology topics.