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Microsoft Splurges on Biggest Cash Takeover of the Pandemic (1)

Jan. 18, 2022, 5:04 PM

Microsoft Corp. is spending $69 billion on the biggest cash-funded takeover since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with its purchase of Activision Blizzard Inc.

The U.S. technology giant is paying up for Activision, owner of the “Call of Duty” franchise, after video-game makers got a boost during extended Covid-19 lockdowns. There hasn’t been an all-cash acquisition this big since energy giant Saudi Aramco took control of chemical producer Sabic in a $69 billion deal announced in 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

It’s been a busy start to the dealmaking year, with transaction volumes already up ...