Microsoft’s Monday announcement that it would be acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion shocked investors on a number of levels.
The deal between the two video game giants wasn’t on anyone’s radar, especially given Activision’s recent issues with harassment allegations and Microsoft’s declaration in November that it was “re-evaluating” its existing relationship with Activision. And it follows Microsoft’s 2020 purchase of Bethesda Softworks parent company Zenimax Studios for the then-surprising sum of $8.1 billion.
How important is Activision Blizzard to Microsoft? One way to answer that question is to look at the price tag of the acquisition, and how it compares to those of other deals, both by Microsoft and other large companies.
LinkedIn (2016) – $26.2 billion
Mojang (creator of Minecraft, 2014) – $2.5 billion
Skype (2011) – $8.5 billion
Hotmail (1997) – $500 million
Other notable acquisitions
CVS buys Aetna (2018) – $69 billion
Bayer buys Monsanto (2018) – $66 billion
AT&T buys DirecTV (2016) – $49 billion
T-Mobile buys Sprint (2020) – $37 billion
InBev buys Anheuser-Busch (2008) – $52 billion
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