Microsoft wins in court: Activision takeover is approaching

A district judge has denied the FTC's request for an injunction, effectively allowing Microsoft to acquire Activision.
Microsoft Xbox Activision Blizzard

The takeover comes closer: A district judge has denied the FTC’s (Federal Trade Commission) request for an injunction, effectively allowing Microsoft to acquire Activision. Judge Corley of the District Court for the Northern District of California said it was satisfied with Microsoft’s promise to keep Call of Duty available on other platforms, including the Sony Playstation and Nintendo Switch.

According to the statement, the court could not determine that the merger would adversely affect competition. This eliminated the FTC’s main point of criticism and the Trade Commission cannot prevent the deal from coming about. However, the FTC can appeal the decision if the documents are filed by the end of Friday tomorrow.

Judge Corley considered the 10-year parity deal that Microsoft and Sony will sign for Call of Duty. There is also a similar contract with Nintendo. The US company will also bring Activision’s title to “several cloud gaming services”. But that would not harm the competition in the gaming industry.

The $68.7 billion / €61.2 billion ($95.00 per share) deal has already received the green light from the European Union. However, it is still the subject of litigation with the CMA (Competitions and Market Authority) in the UK. Both sides have reportedly decided to put the case on hold for the time being. First of all, they want to negotiate the cloud gaming concerns of the British regulator.

Microsoft President Brad Smith and Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick both praised the court’s quick decision. In separate press releases, they said that the deal would increase rather than stifle competition in cloud gaming. Consumers and employees should also benefit from this. According to initial reports, no major layoffs are planned once the merger is complete.

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