Video Game Giants Activision, Vivendi to Combine

Company officials say Paris-based Vivendi plans to acquire a controlling stake in Santa Monica-based Activision Inc. and combine the video game publisher with Vivendi Games in a deal the companies valued at $18.9 billion.

The combination of Santa Monica-based Activision, whose titles include "Guitar Hero," "Call of Duty" and the "Tony Hawk" series, and Vivendi Games, which owns the online role-playing franchise "World of Warcraft," would create the world's largest pure-play online and console game publisher, the companies said.

The new company will be named Activision Blizzard and will be run by current Activision chairman and chief executive officer, Bobby Kotick.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2008.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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