FTC Moves to Block Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard Deal

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is taking action to prevent Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, CNBC is reporting.


Citing a source familiar with the matter, the report notes that the FTC plans to file for an injunction in an attempt to halt the deal before the July 18 deadline.

A couple of months back, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) voted to block the proposed Microsoft-Activision transaction. Microsoft slammed the decision as being “bad for Britain,” while Activision CEO Bobby Kotick promised to push the deal through.

Now, the FTC is also looking to block the acquisition, an action preceded by a lawsuit where the case was brought before an internal administrative law judge (ALJ).

The ALJ will initially provide a ruling that can be appealed to the full commission for a final vote. If the outcome is unfavorable, Microsoft has the option to further appeal the decision in a federal court. The trial-like process is scheduled to begin in August.


Microsoft President Brad Smith expressed optimism about presenting their case in federal court. He believes that expediting the legal process in the U.S. will ultimately foster more competition and offer consumers greater choice in the market.

Another appeal regarding the merger has been planned to challenge the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority’s decision. This appeal is set to occur during the summer, shortly after the acquisition deadline.

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