Microsoft Gambles on ‘Nice Guy’ Strategy to Close Activision Megadeal

Federal regulators have sued to block the $69 billion acquisition

Karen Weise covers Microsoft in Seattle, and David McCabe writes about technology policy in Washington.

Early this month, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president, met with Lina Khan 

The chair of the Federal Trade Commission, to push for regulatory approval of Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of the video game company Activision Blizzard.

A day after their meeting, Ms. Khan’s agency sued to prevent the blockbuster deal. 

But in an interview this week, Mr. Smith was sanguine.

Mr. Smith’s peacemaking comments reflect how Microsoft intends to approach the next phase of its deal for Activision. 

In one plan, Microsoft hopes to win over regulators in Europe, people familiar with the approach said.

When it was known as the “Evil Empire” because of its strong-arm tactics to block out competitors. 

The company has bent over backward in recent years to show it has grown up.