Microsoft is ‘Disappointed’ as FTC Filed to Appeal Against Activision Blizzard Acquisition Ruling

Microsoft president Brad Smith has expressed the company’s disappointment following the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) decision to appeal the recent court ruling, allowing the company to proceed with its acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

This week, a California judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ruled in favour of Microsoft, deeming the FTC failed to provide a reasonable argument that the acquisition of Call of Duty‘s Activision Blizzard would be anticompetitive in both the console and cloud gaming space. It wasn’t long after that the FTC filed an appeal.

On Twitter, Smith released a statement. “We’re disappointed that the FTC is continuing to pursue what has become a demonstrably weak case, and we will oppose further efforts to delay the ability to move forward,” Smith writes.

As of the time of writing, Microsoft is under a temporary restraining order, preventing it from completing the Activision Blizzard deal. However, this order expires as of midnight on Friday, July 14th. The FTC may look at extending this restriction in time before the expiry. Though, that remains to be seen.

The deal as a whole is coming down to the wire. Upon its announcement back in January 2022, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard revealed that the deal must be completed by Tuesday, July 18th. If not, both parties will have to renegotiate the terms of the deal. However, the starts are starting to align and it may look like the ink on this deal may dry over the weekend.

Microsoft still remains under the microscope of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Following the FTC case, the CMA stated that it would be open to a restructured deal between the two parties, reports Reuters. Given how aggressive the CMA has been in overturning this deal, this does appear to be progressive toward the regulatory body approving the acquisition.

It’s also worth noting that Activision Blizzard will be removed from the Nasdaq-100 ESG this weekend, ahead of Monday. This further signals that a decision may come as the US stock exchange prepares itself and is confident the deal will be successful.

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