Why Microsoft Stock Topped the Market Today

What happened

Although Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) stands in front of a giant roadblock in its quest to acquire a top video game producer and developer, investors traded its stock up notably on Thursday. The tech-giant's share price increased by more than 3% on a day when the S&P 500 index only mustered a sub-2% gain. Investors were cheered by the latest pronouncements from the company and its target regarding the acquisition.

So what

Both Microsoft officials and those from the company it's pursuing, video game mainstay Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), expressed steely determination to get the deal done.

According to an article published Thursday morning by Bloomberg, in an all-hands company meeting, Microsoft's Gaming Chief Phil Spencer reaffirmed the tech-giant's intent to push it through. Citing an unnamed meeting attendant, the financial news agency said that a decision earlier this week by the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) effectively quashing the purchase will ultimately only slow the approval process.

Separately, in a Bloomberg TV interview, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick optimistically predicted the deal would succeed. Describing the CMA's ruling as "irrational," he said confidently that his company and Microsoft will prevail with an appeal to the British regulator.

Now what

The two companies' sturdy confidence is inspiring, but the CMA's ruling won't be an easy roadblock to move. The regulator has a lot of power in its native country, and its decisions are influential abroad. It also stated very concrete reasons for its ruling and might not be willing to compromise much (if at all) on its points of concern.

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Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Activision Blizzard and Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.