(Bloomberg) -- As the $69 billion deal between Microsoft Corp. and Activision Blizzard Inc. looks ever more likely to win approval in the UK, the gap between the video-game maker’s stock price and takeover offer is narrowing.
Activision’s shares rose 1.7% to close at $93.92 on Friday, $1.08 away from Microsoft’s $95-a-share offer, compared with a gap of $2.65 as of Thursday’s close. Investors are betting the deal is nearing the finish line after UK competition authorities signaled they will accept the latest concessions. Microsoft slipped 0.8% Friday.
“This is a major step forward toward getting the deal over the line,” said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor. “The tone has certainly turned a lot more positive.”
The prospect of a green light from the UK will be welcome news for investors and speculators who have endured more than a year of uncertainty as the deal ran up against antitrust concerns. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority was seen as the final hurdle after the European Union cleared the transaction in May, and the companies won a court challenge from US regulators in July.
The UK regulator said the restructured offer to sell some gaming rights to French publisher Ubisoft Entertainment SA. is expected to keep competition in cloud gaming open for years. It will consult on the offer until Oct. 6.
--With assistance from Carmen Reinicke.
(Updates stock move at market close.)
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