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Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard for $70 billion

Microsoft’s $70 billion deal with Activision Blizzard carries lots of baggage.

Two employees walk out of the entrance to Activision Blizzard's headquarters.
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Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard for $70 billion. Meanwhile, the gaming company fired or disciplined dozens of employees over allegations of sexual harassment and other workplace issues. (See more below.)

US airlines successfully lobbied against the 5G rollout. But although AT&T and Verizon are delaying the upgraded service around some airports, several international flights were still canceled.

JD.com is teaming up with Shopify. The partnership will give small US sellers access to Chinese consumers.

New York shared new details of its probe into the Trump Organization. Attorney general Letitia James alleged the Trump family business repeatedly misrepresented the value of assets for economic gain.

Peloton is hiking up prices by at least $250. Days ahead of getting dropped from the Nasdaq 100, the at-home fitness company is also looking to cut jobs.

Poland’s president won’t be skipping the Beijing Olympics. Andrzej Duda also plans to meet his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, while he’s there.

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What to watch for

The US government is officially launching its website for free covid-19 tests today. But many American households already ordered their four at-home tests after the website rolled out in beta phase yesterday.

The White House said the early release would help it “address troubleshooting,” a nice way of saying it didn’t want to repeat the 2013 Healthcare.gov disaster. In case you forgot: The health insurance enrollment site was largely inaccessible for weeks after going live.

Here’s a reading list on lessons from healthcare.gov, and what’s still missing in the US’s latest testing strategy:

  1. Why did healthcare.gov go wrong? Hint: A lack of agile.
  2. The latest US measure to step up covid testing excludes millions of people. For one, Medicare doesn’t cover at-home tests.
  3. Manufacturers are ramping up test production. But it’s likely too late to stem the omicron wave.

Microsoft’s big bet

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision is its largest-ever takeover, and will make it the world’s third largest gaming company by revenue after Sony and Tencent. The deal is a huge bet on the metaverse. It’s also complicated by Activision’s history of workplace misconduct.

$77.2 billion: US revenue for the mobile gaming industry in 2020

6th: Rank of Activision’s Candy Crush among the highest-grossing mobile games ever

10,000: People that work at Activision

$18 million: Amount Activision paid in September to settle harassment claims

36+: Number of Activision employees fired or pushed out so far to address the allegations

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