Microsoft president Brad Smith still confident the Activision Blizzard deal will close in 2023

Robert Collins

Yesterday Microsoft president Brad Smith sat down for an interview with Bloomberg’s Jennifer Zabasajja for Thursday’s edition of “Bloomberg Technology.” The topic of discussion was the future of Microsoft’s pending Activision Blizzard acquisition and the FTC’s recent decision to move forward with a lawsuit that could potentially block the deal.

In the interview Smith says he still believes the deal will close in 2023. Specifically, he stated “We originally said when we announced this in January this year, 2022, that we were looking at it in 2023 and that’s still the way we look at it.”

Previously Microsoft had been eyeing a June 30th, 2023 date for the deal’s completion. However, spokespersons for the company are now declining to comment on the timing of the deal following the FTC announcement, as reported by MSN. The FTC’s in-house trial will begin on August 2nd next year.

Also during the interview Smith pointed out the Xbox brand is the “small entrant” in the home gaming console market, and admitted Xbox needs more first-party titles to compete. “They have 286 exclusive titles, we have 59,” he points out. Smith also voiced his objections to the fact that the FTC voted to block the acquisition without hearing Microsoft’s proposals to remedy competitor’s concerns over the deal, saying

I don’t think that is appropriate. I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think we should have governments rejecting potential solutions without at least first having a real conversation about them. That’s not a recipe that will advance competition. 

Featured image via Bloomberg.