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The FTC appeals court case loss against Microsoft's Activision Blizzard buyout

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Call Of Duty is one of the franchises Microsoft will acquire through their purchase of publisher Activision Blizzard.
Image credit: Activision/Rock Paper Shotgun

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is appealing the recent US court order that gave Microsoft the green light to close their proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Earlier this week, the case’s federal judge denied the request for a preliminary injunction against Microsoft and said the FTC had not successfully proven the deal could “substantially lessen competition.”

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The FTC’s appeal decision adds an extra bump in the buyout’s road, which currently has a deadline of July 18th. Once that expiration date passes, Microsoft and Activision can either choose to part ways or negotiate an extension - more likely.

Microsoft president Brad Smith reacted to the appeal with: “The District Court’s ruling makes crystal clear that this acquisition is good for both competition and consumers." He continued to say, "We’re disappointed that the FTC is continuing to pursue what has become a demonstrably weak case, and we will oppose further efforts to delay the ability to move forward.”

“The facts haven’t changed," tweeted Activision Blizzard's CCO of corporate affairs Lulu Cheng Meservey. "We’re confident the U.S. will remain among the 39 countries where the merger can close.” She also tweeted that "The FTC can change the venue (again) but not the facts."

The 39 countries who have given Microsoft the thumbs up include Japan, China, and the EU’s regulatory body which said the deal would “represent a significant improvement for cloud gaming.” That was a markedly different tone to the UK’s CMA which prevented the merger, although Microsoft and the British regulator have gone back to the negotiating table to restructure the deal in some way.

Activision Blizzard are currently the subject of a number of legal actions, labour disputes and allegations of workplace harassment. Rock Paper Shotgun will continue to write about these issues, as well as covering Activision Blizzard games as part of our commitment to cover subjects of interest to our readers. The latest news can always be found under our Activision Blizzard tag.

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