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FTC Files an Appeals in Microsoft Activision Blizzard Acquisition Trial

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an appeal after a California judge rejected its bid to halt the Microsoft Activision Blizzard acquisition. 

Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denied the FTC's request for a preliminary injunction on July 11. According to the ruling, the agency had failed to demonstrate that the merger would significantly impede competition. 

Both Microsoft and Activision have expressed disappointment with the appeal, but they remain determined to proceed with the merger despite the FTC's latest move. An Activision Blizzard spokesperson affirmed their confidence that the merger would proceed in the United States, along with the other 39 countries involved. Microsoft President Brad Smith criticized the FTC's persistence saying;

“The District Court’s ruling makes crystal clear that this acquisition is good for both competition and consumers. 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.”

The FTC's promptness in filing an appeal is evident, as it chose to file just one day after the ruling even though it had until the end of the week to do so. The appeal, if successful, will grant the FTC's initial wish for an injunction, at least temporarily halting the acquisition. The acquisition is scheduled to go through by July 18. 

While the FTC's current efforts to obtain an injunction represent the most significant obstacle for Microsoft at present, it is not the only challenge they face. The United Kingdom previously blocked the merger, prompting Microsoft to consider modifying the transaction to meet the demands of the UK's Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA). However, the CMA has recently paused legal action to review new or revised proposals from Microsoft. With significant deadlines approaching, all eyes are now on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to see how they respond to the FTC's appeal and whether this landmark deal can ultimately move forward.

What’s your take? What do you think about the FTC appealing the court's decision in the Microsoft Activision Blizzard acquisition? Let us know on our socials here or in the comments below.

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.