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HomeTraditional FinanceStock MarketMajor Market Shakeup: Activision Plunges as UK Blocks Microsoft Acquisition and...

Major Market Shakeup: Activision Plunges as UK Blocks Microsoft Acquisition and…

Activision Blizzard’s stock took a nosedive as the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) put the brakes on Microsoft’s massive $68.7 billion acquisition bid. The CMA’s decision stemmed from concerns about the impact on competition in the rapidly growing cloud gaming market, potentially stifling innovation and limiting options for gamers in the U.K. Going further, the agency pointed out that Microsoft’s proposed solutions failed to adequately address these concerns, leaving significant regulatory oversight gaps. Martin Coleman, the Chair of the panel, stressed the importance of a free and competitive market for driving innovation and choice in cloud gaming. This ruling comes as a blow to the proposed merger, which has faced obstacles in the U.K. since its announcement in January 2022, triggering an in-depth review later that year.

Remarkably, the CMA’s stance seems to contradict its earlier stance on the deal, where it concluded that the acquisition wouldn’t harm competition in the console market, which was initially deemed the more pressing concern. The skepticism surrounding the cloud gaming market had always been palpable from the CMA’s perspective. In response to the ruling, Activision Blizzard has announced its intention to join forces with Microsoft to appeal the decision, highlighting the determination of both parties to proceed with the acquisition.

Meanwhile, the troubled First Republic Bank has found itself in a dire situation, with U.S. regulators scrambling over the weekend to secure a sale for the struggling institution. Sources reveal that approximately six banks, including Citizens Financial, PNC Financial, and JPMorgan Chase, have submitted bids to acquire First Republic. The bidding process, overseen by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company, is expected to conclude by Sunday night. Last week proved tumultuous for the bank, as it disclosed a staggering $100 billion in customer withdrawals, triggering significant declines in its shares. In an effort to stabilize its financial situation, First Republic’s advisors tried persuading larger U.S. banks to acquire bonds from them at prices exceeding the market rates.

Shifting gears, Carrier Global has made a noteworthy acquisition, purchasing Viessmann Climate Solutions for a total consideration of €12 billion in cash and stock. The deal solidifies Carrier’s position as a prominent player in the European climate and energy transition market, positioning the company for sustainable growth. Following the announcement, several Wall Street firms revised their price targets on Carrier’s stock, including Barclays, Citi, RBC Capital, and Morgan Stanley, reflecting a slightly more cautious outlook. As a result, shares in the company experienced a decline of over 7% during the week.

Lastly, Getty Images experienced a sudden surge in its share price after activist investor Trillium Capital made an acquisition offer of $10 per share in cash. However, Getty Images quickly dismissed the bid as lacking sufficient credibility to warrant engagement from its Board. Despite the initial excitement, the company’s shares closed the week with a 27% gain.

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