The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) attempt to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been met with another defeat. The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the FTC’s appeal, including their request for injunctive relief to halt the deal. With the expiration of the existing temporary restraining order at midnight Pacific time, Microsoft can proceed with the acquisition in the United States.
In response to the court’s ruling, Microsoft’s Vice Chair and President, Brad Smith, expressed appreciation for the Ninth Circuit’s prompt decision. He stated, “This brings us another step closer to the finish line in this marathon of global regulatory reviews.”
While the FTC’s hurdle has been cleared, Microsoft still faces the challenge of obtaining approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to finalize the deal in the UK. The CMA has delayed its decision until the end of August. However, both parties appear to be open to collaboration. Reports suggest that Microsoft may consider selling the rights of Activision cloud releases to address specific concerns and facilitate the regulatory process.
With a deadline of July 18th looming, Microsoft is expected to complete the acquisition in the United States swiftly. The successful closure of this deal would mark a significant milestone for the tech giant and its expansion into the gaming industry.