Sony shares opened with a sharp drop and after the first hour of trading in Tokyo fell almost 10%, a decline that widened throughout the day and ended at 12.78%.
The technology company was the most traded company of the day and the one that recorded the biggest fall among the firms listed on the main Japanese stock market, the Nikkei, which groups the 225 most representative stocks.
Microsoft’s biggest acquisition
Sony investors have thus reacted to the operation between the two U.S. companies, which represents Microsoft ‘s largest acquisition to date and a strong commitment to the video game sector, in which it is a direct competitor of Sony.
The purchase, valued at $68.7 billion, will become one of the 20 largest deals of its kind in history when completed. It must still pass scrutiny from antitrust regulators, but it has already made the Japanese firm’s investors nervous.
“They think Microsoft will make all Activision Blizzard games exclusive (to Xbox), hurting PlayStation sales and helping Microsoft close Sony’s hardware sales gap,” industry consultant Serkan Toto said in assessing the stock market plunge on his social networks.
Activision is the owner of important IPs (intellectual properties) such as Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Guitar Hero, Spyro, Tony Hawk, Overwatch or Candy Crush, which will pass to Microsoft.
The third largest company in the sector
The American company, which already has an important presence in the world of video games with its Xbox console and titles such as Minecraft, will become the third largest company in the sector in terms of turnover, surpassed only by China’s Tencent and Sony itself, the current leader in this sector of digital entertainment.
While Microsoft’s historic operation was a stock market boost for other important video game companies such as the also American Electronic Arts or the French Ubisoft, Sony received the news as a blow for the threat it represents to its current hegemony.