Vivendi tests appetite for Activision, Microsoft Included

(Reuters) - Vivendi, the French media-to-telecoms conglomerate, has started testing the appetite of possible bidders for its video game business Activision Blizzard, five sources close the situation said on Friday.

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Gorilla_Killa_X2171d ago

If Microsoft were to buy Activision it would be a huge move on their part, it would give them a few more console exclusive games that they need, and really put the hurt on Sony and Nintendo. However, I don't think Microsoft will end up doing it. Ten billion dollars is an awfully lot of money even for them. Plus, who wants a kinect version of COD or WOW.

NYC_Gamer2171d ago

MS or any console brand owner buying Activision would be bad for the gamer

Gorilla_Killa_X2171d ago

I agree 100% with you. It would be bad for the gamer and the industry as a whole, but we will see what happens.

HammadTheBeast2171d ago

Once phrase that can accurately describe it:

Mother of god »_«

MrBeatdown2171d ago (Edited 2171d ago )

Exactly. I didn't want EA buying TakeTwo, and I sure as hell don't want MS (or any other game company for that matter) buying Activision.

Not only does this cut down on competition in the industry between publishers, but if Activision becomes exclusive to Microsoft, it cuts down on consumer choice as well.

I'd much rather see them acquired by a company outside of the gaming industry. Maybe one that can pull Activision away from their "run it into the ground" approach to sequels.

joab7772171d ago

Yeah, but I don't want China buying it either. And a French company that owns universal music? No. Microsoft may b the best option. I don't think they would claim exclusivity on cod, they would simply make money on every sale.

gaffyh2170d ago

TBH though, it would be $10 billion well spent. It would mean that MS would win the next gen console race completely, and they would make their money back quite quickly with the popularity of COD. If I was in charge of any one of those companies, I would bid on them. It doesn't matter whether it's bad for the gamer, if they can afford, they should totally go for it.

Persistantthug2170d ago

Activisions whole business structure is predicated on selling as many games on as many platforms as possible.

You even imply that Call Of Duty would become exclusive to Microsoft's console(s).

Ok.....well lets do some quick math:
For every 10 million COD units they sell, that equals approx $300,000,000 gross to the publisher. You could even argue that they'd sell 15 million easy....but then that's approx $450,000,000.....and I'll even spot you another 50 mill, for half a billion $ gross.

While that's not nothing to sneeze at, it certainly isn't what ACTIVISION is used to. They'd end up having to downsize and layoff, and their value would be cut drastically.

Not only would what you are implying be bad for gamers, but it would be bad for Activision themselves. It would also be bad for Microsoft, and it would be bad for the entire industry as it would show a substantial decline for overall revenue and growth.

With what you are implying, one would one.

gaffyh2170d ago (Edited 2170d ago )

@persistantthug- No one would win, except Microsoft, and that is all that MS care about. Even if they had to downsize, having COD exclusive would be massive, and that's not the only franchise that Activision and Blizzard have that is worth millions. Fact of the matter is, if MS own the controlling stake, they could do whatever they wanted to do.

Whether or not they would be allowed to buy Activision due to monopoly/competition laws is a completely different matter. But if MS buys Acti, they will instantly win the next generation console race.

I'm not saying that this is a good thing for gamers, absolutely not, but it is a good thing for MS, DEFINITELY.

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Ryo-Hazuki2171d ago

MS won't buy Activision. They already make money off them without it being exclusive so why take that big of a risk when it might have reached it's ceiling and there next-gen console is close to release. It's not worth it from a business perspective

MrBeatdown2170d ago

Yeah, I don't see it happening. Of all the things MS can do with that kind of money, buying Activision doesn't seem like the best move.

For example, making Live free seems like it would entice a whole lot more people to jump ship than Call of Duty exclusivity. And it would probably be far less costly.

Plus a huge portion of Activision's business is in licensed games... Marvel, Transformers, and Bond games. Are Marvel and Hasbro going to want to let Microsoft have exclusive rights to those games and miss out on sales on PS3, PS4, Wii U, Vita, and 3DS? I doubt that. Or how about Bungie? They clearly intend for Destiny to be a multiplatform game and opted to leave Microsoft in the first place. Think they'll stick around? MS won't be getting the full value of Activision's current business.

When you get right down to it, a Microsoft-owned Activision wouldn't be much more than Call of Duty, some unsuccessful IPs like Singularity and Blur, and Blizzard's stuff. I don't know why MS would want to spend $10 billion or so on that, when you consider what else that money could be put towards.

I see a company like Disney being more interested in Activision. They can take full advantage of Activision's multiplatform business, and publish their own games.

nukeitall2171d ago (Edited 2171d ago )

For $10 billion, MS could almost buy the entirety of Sony and get rid of a competitor!

MS won't buy Sony (SNE) so relax, besides the FTC probably wouldn't allow that nor would MS want all of Sony's liabilities of a unprofitable business in the last half decade.

MS buying Activision doesn't make sense either, because they would be buying a huge portion of a business they don't want to support i.e games on Sony and Nintendo consoles. Also, it is far cheaper to create your own IPs than buying a studio. I think MS learned that lesson well with Rare!

They are far more likely to have bought Epic than ATVI anyhow. They would have then gotten a business in tools and engine, and technology assets. Makes far more sense, but even that seems a little unlikely.

I don't know who of the current publishers have the resources to buy up Activision Blizzard or at least Vivendi's half which is worth more than EA!


It doesn't make sense for MS, Sony can't afford it, and Nintendo likely doesn't care about those types of games. So we are safe!

@creatchee below:

I think the FTC would, because technically Sony is the only direct competitor at this time. Two competitors are hardly enough, but then we have stupid stuff like only 1-2 Internet Service Providers in areas so why the hell not? It's not like the government is actually looking out for the citizens best interests!

So you are probably sadly right!

creatchee2171d ago

I don't think the FTC would ban a Sony to Microsoft sale, simply because Nintendo is a large player and Sony is a Japanese company.

extermin8or2171d ago

The FTC might block a Activision to Microsoft sale I can't see Sony,EA etc sitting on their arses and not at least kicking up a fuss? then again I'm thinking of actual ground breaking innovative activision games past COD4 and coming up a blank? sure there are plenty of good ones but none good enough to make me buy a new console atm; at the start of a new generation it would come down to who I think had better exclusives last gen (and i'd have to count COD etc as an exclusive for xbox) but I can't see it happening :p also at nukeitall; thing is the gaming section of sony and I believe the computing (vaio) sections were profitable on their own or at least not quite as bad as the other departments. TV's was/is their main issue

ddkshah2171d ago (Edited 2171d ago )

One thing is obvious for sure gamers don't know much about economics as demonstrated by B1663r and other microsoft and sony fanboys.

Sony is the worlds largest music record company. It alone is worth $10 billion.

Sony's financial business is alone worth another $20-$30 billion

Sony Pictures is also worth another $10 billion on its own.

Sony Computer Entertainment (playstation) is worth another $20-30 billion.

Sony has a huge library of patents that are worth another large billions of dollars to american corps. who like to sue or are getting sued for patents.

Sony's market value is low because of bad management nothing else. Also to you "economists" market cap/value is determined by profits and is completely different from assets which microsoft would need to buy in order for them to shut them down.

Also sony can't go bankrupt. They employ more people than microsoft does over 100,000 vs over 90,000. If Sony does go bankrupt expect a major crisis worldwide.

Honestly if microsoft did MERGE, not acquire, Sony then gamers benifits. A more unified gaming experience with MS software and Sony's first party gaming talent.

nukeitall2171d ago (Edited 2171d ago )


I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but the fact is Sony is worth (i.e. it's market cap) $12.92 billion.

Anyone with a half brain can read that here:

Hint: It's listed under market cap!

No amount of making up random numbers will change that!

This is well covered by respected finance news sites.

"Honestly if microsoft did MERGE, not acquire, Sony then gamers benifits. A more unified gaming experience with MS software and Sony's first party gaming talent."

Do you know that MS has more than 3x the cash on hand than the value of Sony in it's entirety?

It wouldn't make sense for MS to acquire Sony, because Sony is in a dire situation. Why do you think their value is the lowest it has been in like 30+ years?

raytraceme2171d ago (Edited 2171d ago )

Take economics you idiot. You do know market cap doesn't determine how much it would take for a company to be acquired right? Assets do. Market cap is the value of a company towards shareholders in terms of the profits a company makes. Sony hasn't been making a profit thus it has a low market cap.

Also I use Google thank you very much. Not that pos yahoo.

Dante1122171d ago (Edited 2171d ago )

How the heck did ddkshah get all those disagrees? Micheal Jackson songs (which Sony owns) alone are worth 5 billion. Market cap/value is determined by profits and is completely different from assets which microsoft would need to buy in order for them to shut them down.

Sony Music Entertainment (Worth 11 Billion)

"In 2005, Jackson's defense attorney, Thomas Mesereau, revealed that the song catalogue had been valued at between $4 billion and $5 billion.[37] The company's song catalogue is believed to generate up to $2.5 billion a year; The Beatles' hits alone bring in $30 million to $45 million a year.[38] Jackson's other publishing firm, Mijac, which publishes songs written by Jackson himself and which used to be administered by competitor Warner/Chappell Music, is valued to be worth at least $450 million.[39] Since 2011 Mijac is administered by Sony/ATV. It is reported that Sony Publishing EMI is value to 11 billion dollars."

Source (2012):

smashcrashbash2170d ago

You are talking BS man. Sony's copyrights and patents alone cost a bundle. Microsoft can't just buy Sony. They have so many more divisions then they do all across the globe. you are over estimating Microsoft's buying power.Besides after the way they handled what was left of Rare I think they should leave Activision alone.

NoOoB1012170d ago (Edited 2170d ago )

@ nuketail..

Sony is worth more than 12 billion. Maybe you take some economic classes -_-

ALLWRONG2170d ago

I fail to see how Sony fits in a rumor about Activision and MS. Why does Team Sony always make everything about Sony or bitching about MS? It truly is the only thing you guys can do.

DiRtY2170d ago (Edited 2170d ago )

"Market capitalization (often simply market cap) is the total value of the tradable shares of a publicly traded company; it is equal to the share price times the number of shares outstanding. As outstanding stock is bought and sold in public markets, capitalization could be used as a proxy for the public opinion of a company's net worth and is a determining factor in some forms of stock valuation."

Sonys market cap: 12.86 billion USD.
So for 12.86 billion USD you can buy all the tradable shares. You know what happens when you buy all the shares? You own the company. Sony can be bought for that amount of money.

Btw. Steve Ballmers net worth is 15.7 billion USD. He alone could buy Sony. I know you guys don't like to hear such facts, but sometimes you just havve to face it. Deal with it.

*edit* IF MS really buys Activision Blizzard (I doubt it) MS would have won next gen by default. The funny part would be that Bungie is working for MS for another 10 years :D

raytraceme2170d ago (Edited 2170d ago )


cool story brah... but ur own xbug nukeitall brought up sony.


Sony owns most of sony's shares. Also there is no way ms can buy sony. Motorola was worth $6 billion before google bought it for $12.5 billion. You really think MS would be able to buy sony for $12.8 billion??? Um no.

If Sony was up for purchase, or files for bankruptcy, there would be bids in which google, apple, microsoft, Samsung, conglomerates, investors etc. would place bids in order to acquire its ip's or Sony itself.

If Sony were on Sale then it would have to go for far more than what MS has in cash which is over $50 billion.

I love how you xBugs think that MS can straight up buy Sony. It's way way more complicated than your tiny little brains can handle.

ziggurcat2170d ago

wow, i'm *shocked* to see nukeitall trolling with his usual anti-sony nonsense. /sarcasm

i'd like you to explain exactly how sony's in a dire situation.

Imalwaysright2170d ago

If Acti is worth 10 Billions there is no way in hell that Sony is worth 12 Billions. No way!

Sheikh Yerbouti2170d ago


Trying to sound smart with very little knowledge? Going to a website doesn't mean you have knowledge. The market cap isn't a price you can take to Wal-Mart and say "Can I have Sony?"

Sony shareholders, out for the most money, are going have to sell you Sony. They, like TakeTwo with EA, are going to want what its ASSETS are worth regardless of how it is performing.

Read more than the Yahoo Finance page, cuz.

Outside_ofthe_Box2170d ago

And now it has been proven that nukeitall is a plain old Sony hater. nukeitall's downfall was his ignorance in economics. LMAO


Your fellow Sony hater is the one that brought up Sony first... LOL!

nukeitall2170d ago (Edited 2170d ago )

Looks like I pissed off a lot of people, but that doesn't change facts.

Sony has been deemed to be worth only $12.9 billion on the open market a staggering decline from $20 billion this April. In fact, Sony went from a $140+ billion in 2000 and is worth less than a tenth of that 12-years later.

A graph of Sony's stock history right here:

A company's dire situation is often reflected in the stock price. Why do you think they ousted their previous president, Stringer, and put Hirai in charge? Because Stringer was doing a great job?

Sony isn't worth more than what people are willing to pay. That is a fundamental how capitalism works!

MS can buy Sony if they want to, they have enough cash to buy Sony 3 times over, but they would be taking over the liabilities too, which I doubt they would be interested in.

Facts are facts!

Sheikh Yerbouti2170d ago (Edited 2170d ago )

Market cap is not a price tag. That's the fact you can't seem to grasp. If the shareholders say they are worth more, and in Sony's case it most definitely is, then they won't sell. If Kaz's bosses don't want Sony to exist, they can sell off everything and earn more than that 12 billion. : D

End. Of. Damn. Story.

nukeitall2169d ago (Edited 2169d ago )

@Sheikh Yerbouti

It's common knowledge you are only worth what people are willing to pay, not how much you want to sell. End of story!

Also, it's actually not up to Kaz to sell Sony or not. That is determined by the major shareholders and board of directors, so often times, companies buying will add around 20-50% extra on the stock price to entice stock sales. That puts Sony in less than $20 billion from $12.9 billion, still assuming it doesn't further decline.

It already went from $20 billion in April 12' to $12.9 billion in July 12'. Sony better post some good numbers soon!

Like it or not, MS could easily buy up Sony if they wanted to. However, they already got probably the healthiest business from Sony, namely the game console business and probably isn't worth nearly $13 billion in it's current state to MS. With less than half of that, MS could probably outcompete Sony.

ddkshah2169d ago

Lol Sony's financial, music, and movies division are its healthiest.

The PS brand is worth tens of billions to potential buyers like google or apple.

You really think that MS could afford Sony you are still way off.

Sony is way too big to be worth 20 billion. As assets show Sony is worth over $150 billion. That's how much M$ would need to shell out to buy Sony.

Market Value is bs.

Nintendo has $20 billion in CASH and no debt yet its market cap is less than that does that make it worth $16 billion to buy? NO

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perdie2171d ago

I do not think the games activision publishes would be nearly as successful if they went exclusive. The reaaon they make so much is because its popular across multiple platforms! Thats why I don't think microsoft would invest so much money in them, even though they would get exclusive rights to CoD, I like to think they are smart enough to realize that the sales would drop dramatically without CoD being multiplat

DeadlyFire2170d ago (Edited 2170d ago )

I don't think it would actually hurt Sony. Nintendo maybe. As Call of Duty might help WiiU sell.

Microsoft has never had a big MMO division, but Sony has had SOE running for years.

Ten Billion though even Microsoft can't front without some concern. Although if you look at this from all angles. We could see Blizzard and Activision becoming two separate companies again. There is also a potential for that 61 percent stake that Vivendi owns to be split up and sold in chunks or in a million small pieces.

Its a chance for a company like Microsoft to buy in a bigger share of the company if they do have interest in acquiring them in the future.

I don't think they would buy all 61% stake though. Its just to big.

WeskerChildReborned2170d ago

Yep, they would probably end up making COD 360 exclusive but then again, Activision would lose sales.

Crazyglues2170d ago (Edited 2170d ago )

If Microsoft was to buy this it would be one huge bad Move, just like buying Yahoo...

At the time it seemed good they offered Yahoo a crazy number, Yahoo being the idiots that they are said, No thank you..

fast forward a few years, Yahoo isn't even worth half of the money Microsoft offered it... Same thing would happen here...

Call Of Duty is Dying not getting better, and Blizzard is far from perfect - yes they are making tons of money now, but gaming is changing..

There really is no real benefit for MS, Call Of Duty is already on Xbox and making it 360 only or 720 only would not hurt PS3 it would just bring down the sales of COD..

Actually I just feel like Vivendi is cashing out while they can, while the pot is hot and they can get the most for the company.

This is a bad Move for someone Like MS they don't need this company, someone else who has no ties to the consoles is who can make this thing work, is who should buy it.

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Gorilla_Killa_X2171d ago (Edited 2171d ago )

Edited: meant to reply to NYC_Gamer

KMCROC542171d ago (Edited 2171d ago )

(Fanboy thinking)Hey MS what are you waiting for, your always stating that you care about the core gamer of your console. here's your chance to show us how much you care about the Xbox gaming core,besides with one swifts signature you can brings us a ton of exclusive games .(P.S bungie would be coming home)
(Gamer outlook) increase your bottom dollar in profits earned from the buy of this venture.

creatchee2171d ago

If MS bought Activision, it might actually make sense to continue allowing them to publish on a multiplatform level. COD sells a ton on Playstation, and there are many Sony supporters who wouldn't buy a Microsoft console just for COD. They could simply continue exclusive or timed-exclusive DLC on their XBOX consoles.

majiebeast2171d ago

Warner would be the best option for gamers and M$ the worst every blizzard game with games for windows live *pukes*.

KMCROC542171d ago

Cause they have done so well w/ thier other IPs (Cough DC COMIC Cough).

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