Appeals Court Stops FTC last-ditch attempt to block Microsoft’s Activision Acquisition

Appeals Court Stops FTC last-ditch attempt to block Microsoft's Activision Acquisition

Microsoft are now one step closer to acquiring Activision Blizzard

After defeating the FTC in court, the Federal Trade Commission quickly appealed the court’s decision to as part of a last ditch effort to delay their acquisition of Activision Blizzard past the company’s July 18th deadline. This appeal has brought the FTC’s case to the US’ Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals who quickly analysed the FTC’s arguments and have denied their appeal. 

With their failed appeal, the FTC has now lost two legal battles against Microsoft, moving the company one step closer to closing their acquisition. Now, Microsoft only needs to approval in the UK to close their deal, though at this time it is unclear if the UK’s CMA (Competition and Market’s Authority) will come to an agreement with Microsoft.

Below is a comment from Microsoft’s vice chair and president, Brad Smith, who thanked the  Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for their quick decision.

     We appreciate the Ninth Circuit’s swift response denying the FTC’s motion to further delay the deal. This brings us another step closer to the finish line in this marathon of global regulatory reviews.

Microsoft now has until July 18th to close their deal with Activision, and if they fail to do so Microsoft may need to renegotiate terms with Activision, agree on an extension, or pay a pricy $3 billion fee if Microsoft walks away from the deal.   

Appeals Court Stops FTC last-ditch attempt to block Microsoft's Activision Acquisition

Activision Blizzard would be a huge boon for Microsoft should they managed to close this acquisition, bringing gaming IPs like Overwatch, Starcraft, Diablo, Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Crash Bandicoot, Guitar Hero, Spyro the Dragon, World of Warcraft, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Simply put, this deal will have a huge impact on the gaming landscape and give Microsoft the boost they need to truly rival Sony and Nintendo.

While Microsoft has no intention to make all Activision Blizzard games exclusive to Xbox, it is probable that many of Activision Blizzard’s games will become Xbox Exclusive on consoles.

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