Microsoft has agreed to acquire publisher Activision Blizzard, the technology giant has announced. The deal is valued at nearly $68.7bn (~£50.5bn), according to a report by Reuters.

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Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard. Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has announced that both entities will continue to operate independently until the transaction closes. It did not provide a timeframe for the transaction.

The deal could have ramifications for Activation Blizzard’s expansive esports operations. The publisher currently runs esports leagues for flagship titles Overwatch and Call of Duty, as well as StarCraft and World of Warcraft.

In a post on the XBOX website, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said: “As we pursue that mission, it is incredibly exciting to announce that Microsoft has agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard.

“Over many decades, the studios and teams that make up Activision Blizzard have earned vast wellsprings of joy and respect from billions of people all over the world.”

More to come…

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