Microsoft’s $69 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard allowed to proceed, denies FTC request

Judge Allows Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard to Move Forward

In a recent ruling, a federal judge in Northern California has denied a request from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to halt Microsoft’s $69 billion deal to acquire gaming company Activision Blizzard. U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley rejected the FTC’s appeal, allowing Microsoft’s takeover of the popular video game giant to proceed.

The FTC had filed a motion to pause the acquisition while it appeals Corley’s decision. However, the judge denied the motion, clearing the way for Microsoft to move forward with its purchase of Activision. The FTC has now taken its appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Microsoft and Activision had previously set a deadline of July 18 to complete the acquisition. Despite the legal battle with the FTC, both companies seem determined to finalize the deal.

The FTC’s initial lawsuit to block the acquisition was based on concerns that Microsoft would suppress competition in the gaming console, subscription content, and cloud gaming markets. However, Judge Corley stated in her ruling that the FTC had not presented substantial evidence to prove that the merger would significantly lessen competition in these markets.

The trial for the FTC’s lawsuit is scheduled to take place in August, in the FTC’s own in-house court. The agency’s request for an injunction was an attempt to prevent the merger from proceeding before the trial.

If the acquisition goes through, it will be the largest ever deal in the history of the U.S. video game industry.

Though the legal battles continue, Microsoft and Activision remain committed to finalizing their deal. The outcome of the appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals will likely play a crucial role in determining the fate of this high-profile merger.

In conclusion, Judge Corley’s ruling has allowed Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard to move forward, defying the FTC’s attempt to block the deal. The trial for the FTC’s lawsuit will proceed in August, shedding more light on the potential impact of the merger on competition in the gaming industry. As the legal proceedings unfold, the future of this landmark acquisition hangs in the balance.