U.S. FTC Continues Battle Against Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has restarted its fight against Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision after losing its previous legal case in July. The matter will be handled through an in-house trial, but there are concerns about whether the challenge could impact the deal before the October 18 deadline, as reported by BNN Bloomberg.
The FTC’s “Order Returning Matter to Adjudication,” released on September 26, states, “The Commission has determined that the public interest warrants that this matter be resolved fully and expeditiously. Therefore, the Commission is returning this matter to adjudication.”
This means that the FTC will attempt to re-open the discussion surrounding the legitimacy of Microsoft’s acquisition plans. It’s a case that will be strengthened if the Court of Appeals rules in favor of the FTC.
Last week, the UK competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), issued preliminary approval of Microsoft’s updated Activision merger deal. The revised deal includes Microsoft selling the cloud streaming rights for current and future Activision games to Ubisoft over the next 15 years if the merger goes ahead.
The CMA initially had concerns about the merger’s impact on competition in cloud gaming in the UK. However, the updated deal has addressed those concerns, leading to the CMA’s preliminary approval.
In response to the CMA’s approval, Activision Blizzard stated, “The CMA’s preliminary approval is great news for our future with Microsoft. We’re pleased the CMA has responded positively to the solutions Microsoft has proposed, and we look forward to working with Microsoft toward completing the regulatory review process.”