The Federal Trade Commission’s case against Microsoft’s intended acquisition of Activision-Blizzard is slowing down, after it announced it would be suspending its in-house lawsuit. As reported by The Verge, the administrative challenge that was set to go before its own administrative judge in August has been suspended.
In addition to its own lawsuit, the FTC also filed for a temporary restraining order while seeking a preliminary injunction that would keep Microsoft from closing its deal to purchase Activision-Blizzard. The injunction was denied by a US district court, and further appeals by the FTC also failed.
After the district court ruled that the FTC failed to raise any strong points in its objection to Microsoft’s deal, it’s unlikely its own in-house judge would have reached a different conclusion. Microsoft’s case against the FTC’s objections has also been strengthened since it signed a deal with Sony guaranteeing that Call Of Duty would be made available on PlayStation consoles for the next ten years. It’s possible that the FTC could re-file its administrative challenge, however.
Microsoft recently renegotiated its deal with Activision-Blizzard to extend the deadline for the purchase to October 18. The largest remaining hurdle for Microsoft to clear in making this deal is the block put in place by the UK’s CMA, which the two parties are currently negotiating.
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