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How Activision Blizzard almost didn't happen


A proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission tells the tale of how the Activision Blizzard merger almost didn't happen. GameDaily sifted through the massive document to discover that discussions about the possible merger go back to November of 2006, with things really heating up going into last summer. After little progress on transaction terms, Jean-Bernard Lévy, CEO of Vivendi, called up Activision head Bobby Kotick in June to say that he "did not think it made sense to continue discussions concerning a possible transaction at that time."

Around July, Kotick contacted Lévy with Activision's new proposal. The lawyers went to work and sometime around September, with "little progress on open issues," Kotick called the deal off. Strangely, Blizzard's Mike Morhaime and other Blizzard managers (who were under the Vivendi umbrella at the time) stepped up and got things back on track with a management structure proposal. By November the Activision Blizzard deal was final and the industry got another 800 lb. gorilla to keep EA company.

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