Dhe Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sharply criticized the antitrust authorities on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos for their handling of the intended takeover of the games manufacturer Activision Blizzard for 69 billion dollars. Activision Blizzard shareholders approved the purchase with an overwhelming majority in April last year. But the American antitrust authority, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has filed a lawsuit to prevent the purchase. She fears that the consolidation of the two companies will hamper competition in the market. The European antitrust authorities are now also facing headwinds.
Nadella doesn’t understand this: “If the fourth largest provider on the market gets a little content, what’s the problem? If you believe in the strengths of the competition, you have to be in this business,” Nadella is convinced. For him it is “incomprehensible” how short-sighted the cartel guards are Activision Blizzard dealt with the issue of competition.
If the deal is approved, has Microsoft agreed to buy the games maker for $95 per share, a premium of about 25 percent to the current share price. Activision Blizzard’s share price skyrocketed after the acquisition was announced almost exactly a year ago, peaking at around $80 but trading consistently below that mark since mid-August. The stock is currently trading slightly above levels just prior to the announcement of the FTC lawsuit on December 8 of last year.
Growth driver artificial intelligence
For this and more acquisitions Microsoft can draw on more than $100 billion in liquidity to adapt to the rapidly changing world of information technology through acquisitions. Nadella primarily sees artificial intelligence (AI) as a major growth driver for the future. “If mobile and cloud were the last big thing, AI will be next,” Nadella told CNBC shortly before the World Economic Forum. You are now where mobile and cloud were in 2007 and 2008. At an event organized by the “Wall Street Journal” in Davos Nadella referred primarily to the AI chatbot Chat-GPT. Recently there have been rumors that Microsoft wants to integrate the service into its Bing search engine and is said to be spending 10 billion dollars on it. Nadella left these rumors uncommented.
However, Microsoft’s CEO referred to the great importance that the program already has. And skills development is progressing at a brisk pace. AI is already being adopted by programmers: Well-known software developers are even talking about a share of up to 80 percent that can be taken over by artificial intelligence in the so-called coding. One thing is certain: work at all levels can be transformed by AI, according to Nadella, and especially for workers who are directly involved in production, this opens up opportunities that have so far been overlooked.
In any case, it is helpful for all employees to try out as intensively as possible the possibilities that the chat GPT programs offer for improving the productivity of their own work and then to use them. With a view to the development of productivity and inflation, it is anyway good that there is now a technology that one can hope will significantly improve productivity. Against this background, all observers are certain that Nadella wants to integrate the algorithms into the existing products of his group.
Chat-GPT also opens up opportunities in education (“An individual math teacher for each student”), or for access, for example, for the rural population in India to state services, because the corresponding documents are processed by the AI on behalf of the Chat-GPT user could be filled out. The algorithm can even process various Indian dialects.