Activision Blizzard shareholders approve Microsoft's $68.7 billion takeover bid

The blockbuster deal is one step closer to being sealed, but it's still not a sure thing.

Dado Ruvic / reuters

Activision Blizzard's shareholders have overwhelmingly voted in favor of a proposed $68.7 billion takeover by Microsoft. More than 98 percent of the shares that voted at a special meeting held on Thursday approved of the merger.

Though the company called the vote non-binding and advisory, the deal could not have moved forward without the majority of shareholders giving it the green light. The board of directors unanimously agreed it was in the best interest of Activision Blizzard and its shareholders, and recommended they vote in favor.

The planned merger is not finalized and it could still collapse. The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing the deal and is expected to closely scrutinize the details. Under chair Lina Khan, the FTC has put the kibosh on NVIDIA's attempt to buy ARM and revived an antitrust case against Meta over its purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp.

Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will also need regulatory approval from the UK, the European Union, China and some other jurisdictions, according to an SEC filing. The companies expect the deal to close by June 2023.

There are other considerations that may impact the planned Activision Blizzard-Microsoft merger beyond antitrust concerns. The embattled game publisher has been the subject of lawsuits and accusations alleging workplace harassment and discrimination. Meanwhile, some quality assurance workers at Activision studio Raven Software are holding a union election over the next few weeks.