Microsoft-Activision Deal Doubt May Yield Big Reward: Tech Watch

Microsoft Corp.’s purchase of Activision Blizzard Inc. is bogged down, yet some traders are betting the deal ultimately will go through. If they’re right, there’s serious money to be made, given that the videogame company’s shares are still almost 20% below the offer price.

Stricter US antitrust regulators, the series of international approvals needed, a broad slump in technology stocks and the size of the $69 billion deal have all contributed to keep the gap between Activision’s price and Microsoft’s $95-a-share bid stubbornly wide. That’s made it one of the most potentially lucrative opportunities for arbitrageurs who speculate on acquisitions.