Activision spends $5.9B bid for Candy Crush maker

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) is spending nearly $6 billion to buy Candy Crush maker King Digital Entertainment (KING), combining a console gaming power with an established player in the fast-growing mobile gaming field.

Activision, which owns the "Call of Duty" series, says the deal will create one of the largest global entertainment networks with more than half a billion combined monthly active users in 196 countries.

The Santa Monica, California, gamer will pay $18 in cash for each King share, a 20 percent premium over its Friday closing price. King is based in Dublin.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal, but King shareholders must still vote on it.

Shares of King Digital Entertainment Plc. are up 15 percent in premarket trading.