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Microsoft Wins FTC Court Case, One Step Closer to Acquiring Activision Blizzard

JJ Rankin  |   Jul 11, 4:41 PM   |   6 min read

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It’s official! Microsoft has won its court battle against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Microsoft has received a court’s okay to move forward with its $69 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard Inc., hence defeating an effort by the US Federal Trade Commission to block the most lucrative gaming deal ever made. 

 

The decision was made by Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in San Francisco and allows Microsoft to close its merger with Activision ahead of a July 18 deadline everywhere except for the UK (the country vetoed the deal).

Read More: Microsoft-Activision Hearing Wraps Up As FTC Tries To Block $75 Billion Deal

Court's Decision Prompts UK and Xbox To Go Back To Negotiating table In Public Interest

 

 

UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had decided to block the proposed acquisition of Activision in April, over concerns that Microsoft will enjoy a monopoly in the cloud gaming industry if the deal goes through. The regulator also claimed that Microsoft’s proposal had several “shortcomings”. ANother hearing is scheduled to be held on July 28 that will determine the fate of the deal in UK. 
 

 

 

 

The Verge points out that for the deal to be fully finalised, the CMA would have to be willing to negotiate unless Microsoft agrees to close around the UK. Following the FTC's court ruling, Smith said, "After today’s court decision in the U.S., our focus now turns back to the UK. While we ultimately disagree with the CMA’s concerns, we are considering how the transaction might be modified in order to address those concerns in a way that is acceptable to the CMA."
 

 

She further added, "In order to prioritise work on these proposals, Microsoft and Activision have agreed with the CMA that a stay of the litigation in the UK would be in the public interest and the parties have made a joint submission to the Competition Appeal Tribunal to this effect."

 

Much of the decision rested on the Activision blockbuster franchise, Call of Duty, since Microsoft's business decisions can affect how it is distributed to gamers. Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard includes the purchase of Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft.
 

"Our merger will benefit consumers and workers,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says in a statement issued to PCGamesN. “It will enable competition rather than allow entrenched market leaders to continue to dominate our rapidly growing industry," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in a statement.

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JJ Rankin

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JJ is a writer for the Gaming section at Gossip.GG and brings multiple years of experience covering the gaming beat.

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