According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). That’s impressive A recent US federal court order cleared the way for Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard. The FTC has filed a notice of appeal against Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley’s decision, but we won’t know the regulator’s full arguments until the full appeal is presented to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Microsoft won a bitter battle with the FTC earlier this week, when a federal judge denied the US regulator’s request for a preliminary injunction. “The Court finds that the FTC has not shown a likelihood of success on its claim that this particular vertical merger would substantially lessen competition in this particular industry,” Judge Corley wrote in the ruling. “Rather, the record evidence points to greater consumer access.” Call of duty and other Activision content.”
If the preliminary injunction had been granted, it would have temporarily prevented Microsoft from closing its Activision Blizzard deal pending the outcome of the FTC’s own administrative case against the company. That separate legal challenge is still set to begin on August 2.
Now that the FTC has chosen to appeal Judge Corley’s decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals must grant an emergency stay to extend the current Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), which expires at 11:59PM PT on Friday, July. 14th. It’s unclear whether the appeals court will rule before the July 18 contract deadline, leaving the door open for Microsoft to close the Activision Blizzard deal on Monday or Tuesday without an injunction.
After the regulator blocked the deal over cloud concerns earlier this year, Microsoft still needs to resolve UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issues with its acquisition before closing. Microsoft and the CMA both immediately announced Tuesday that they had agreed to suspend their legal battles to negotiate after Judge Corley’s ruling.
In a surprise statement on Wednesday, the CMA warned that Microsoft’s offer to renegotiate its deal “could lead to a new merger investigation” and that negotiations between the regulator and Microsoft were still at an “early stage”.
It contradicts a statement CNBC Microsoft and the CMA said they had agreed to a “minor deviation” to address cloud gaming concerns. CNBC It did not elaborate on what that departure would entail, but such a scenario would be specific to the UK and could include changes to Microsoft’s Xbox cloud gaming services in the region.
Microsoft’s deal with the EU includes a key settlement that includes free licensing for consumers in EU countries, allowing them to stream all current and future Activision Blizzard PC and console games through “the cloud game streaming services of their choice.” Cloud providers will also be given a free license to stream these games.
All eyes now turn to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and Microsoft’s potential settlement with the CMA in the UK.