Microsoft’s plan to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash is a whopper by every stretch of the imagination — the biggest in the company’s 47-year-history and more than double the $26 billion it paid for business social networking giant LinkedIn in 2017.
To put the $68.7 billion figure in perspective, consider this:
- The deal is nearly the equivalent of the cumulative payout of Microsoft’s five previous largest acquisitions which totaled $69 billion: LinkedIn at $26 billion; Nuance at $19.7 billion; Skype at $8.5 billion; Bethesda at $7.5 billion; and GitHub at $7.5 billion.
- At $68.7 billion, the Activision Blizzard deal represents nearly half of the $130 billion in cash, short term investments and cash equivalents that Microsoft was sitting on at the end of September 2021.
- The deal firmly cements Microsoft’s position in gaming and sets the company up to play ball in the metaverse, building on other big gaming acquisitions: Bethesda in 2020 and Minecraft maker Mojang Studios in 2014.
- The deal will bring Microsoft another 10,000 employees, adding to its worldwide workforce of 189,984 as of September 2021.