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Microsoft wins FTC fight, given go ahead in the US to acquire Activision Blizzard

Posted on July 19, 2023 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, News

A court case between Microsoft and the FTC has been settled, with a California judge making a final ruling. After nearly a week of testimony, Microsoft’s acquisition has been given the go ahead.

The FTC could choose to appeal the decision. It’s worth noting though that the regulator let things go after a court provided Meta with permission to acquire Within. Because of this, it’s though that the FTC could move on from the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard case as well.

Microsoft is now able to close its Activision Blizzard deal by the July 18 deadline. However, this will only happen if the company is willing to close around the UK or if the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is willing to negotiate. Although Microsoft has received approval in the United States, Microsoft has been appealing a block in the UK – that hearing is set to happen on July 28.

There’s been some talk that Microsoft could wrap up the Activision Blizzard deal in spite of what’s happening in the UK. But since more complications would be involved, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard will likely temporarily extend their merger agreement to cover the CMA appeal process instead.

Assuming the deal goes through, Microsoft currently has a ten-year deal in place to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo platforms.


Update (7/12): The FTC has filed a notice to appeal the ruling denying the agency a preliminary injunction against Microsoft closing its Activision acquisition. However, it would need to happen soon given that the temporary restraining order against the deal is set to expire Friday.


Update (7/14): The FTC asked to extend the restraining order pending appeal, which was denied. The 9th Circuit was also asked to block the deal pending the appeal, but that has also been denied. Although the FTC is still appealing the court ruling, Microsoft should be able to close its Activision deal as soon as Saturday.


Update (7/19): The Activision Blizzard and Microsoft boards of directors have agreed to postpone their merger deadline until after October 18. Doing so will allow more time for the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to approve the deal.


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