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FTC Loses Appeal To Stop Microsoft-Activision Deal

Federal Trade Commission's request to prevent Microsoft Activision Blizzard was denied.
by Tit Krajnik on July 15, 2023   

Federal Trade Commission's appeal to prevent Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard was denied by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, marking FTC's second loss. Previously US federal judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denied FTC's request for a preliminary injunction against Microsoft.


The ongoing attempt of Microsoft's $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard has just finished another chapter, with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denying the FTC's request to prevent the merger. This is a huge move towards the deal, which would see all Activision Blizzard and King games fall under the Xbox Games Studios, such as Diablo, Call of Duty, Candy Crush, and World of Warcraft.

Due to the size of this deal, it had to be reviewed by dozens of antitrust commissions, and while the majority gave it the green light, the Federal Trade Commission and UK's Competition and Markets Authority opposed it due to the concerns of how strong Microsoft would become in the gaming industry.

However, as of Friday, July 14, the FTC was beaten in court and no longer stands in Microsoft's way, leaving the technology giant with just one more obstacle in its path.

With the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denying Federal Trade Commission's appeal, Microsoft is now free to finalize its deal with Activision Blizzard and has time until Tuesday, July 18, to complete the merger. This is a huge development in the ongoing Microsoft battle to acquire Activision Blizzard, but it is not done yet.

Microsoft still has one more authority standing in its way – the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – with who the company has yet to reach an agreement. As reported, CMA's main concern with the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger is that it could pose a serious threat to the competition in the cloud gaming market. 

And while Microsoft and CMA likely won't come to an agreement anytime soon, the two are working on resolving the antitrust concerns by modifying the deal so the acquisition won't pose any threat to the gaming industry.


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