FTC Appeals Against Recent Activision Merger Court Decision

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Xbox In Never Ending War Against FTC!

Microsoft has been in a long battle against the FTC over the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The consumer body previously took Microsoft to court and lost the case, allowing the gaming giant to proceed with the merger.

Following the ruling, reports claimed the FTC would not back down so easily and planned to file an appeal. As expected, the regulator has filed an appeal against the judge’s decision.

Why it matters: The FTC filing an appeal against the court ruling could further delay the merger. Even in the best-case scenario, Microsoft would have to deal with the regulator for a long time after the acquisition.

In response, Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, released a statement expressing his disappointment in the regulator.

Brad Smith reiterated Microsoft’s claims that the acquisition is beneficial for consumers. While the FTC disagrees, Judge Corley from the court hearings has expressed a similar point of view on the deal.

He further mentioned that the case has already been proven weak and assured that Microsoft would make every effort to prevent further delays in the merger process.

Previously, a US judge issued a restraining order, temporarily blocking the merger till July 14, 2023. The appealing court would need to extend the order before that date. Otherwise, Microsoft can finalize their deal over the weekend.

Going by the recent hearings, it is doubtful that the appeal will be decided in favor of the FTC, and the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger seems to be all but confirmed at this point.

The European Commission, one of the most prominent regulators, also approved the merger. However, the UK’s CMA rejected the deal due to concerns about the cloud gaming market, prompting Microsoft to appeal the decision.

Nevertheless, both parties have agreed to pause the appeal and restructure the transaction, which indicates that the CMA may approve the merger in the coming days.

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