had a rough week. On Tuesday, an Xbox executive said a trove of unredacted senior leadership emails, strategy presentations, and future product roadmaps were “unintentionally disclosed” in a public court filing from the FTC v. Microsoft case.
After combing through the files, I was struck by a couple of major revelations: First,
(ticker: MSFT) appetite for acquisitions may be bigger than anyone imagined. Second, the company’s Xbox gaming business has an expiration date—if it doesn’t reach a key strategic milestone in a few years.
Indeed, everyone knows Microsoft has been aggressive in M&A given its $7.5 billion buyout of ZeniMax and the pending $69 billion purchase of
(ATVI). After those two deals, most of us believed Microsoft would be done on the megadeal front for the foreseeable future.
But after reading the leaked documents, I’m not so sure. In August 2020, Microsoft’s top gaming executive Phil Spencer said in an email that the company was in active M&A negotiations with Warner Bros. gaming division and ZeniMax (later completed).
Spencer also said he had asked Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and…
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