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Microsoft Wins US Court Case Against the FTC To Acquire Activision Blizzard

Microsoft has won its court case against the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), clearing a major obstacle on its way to acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion.


The FTC sought an injunction to hold up the Xbox and Activision Blizzard deal, but with Microsoft winning the case against it, only an antitrust trial on 2nd August, or a potential appeal by the FTC (which has a deadline of 14th July).


Off the back of Sony and others branding the deal anti-competitive, the decision by US district judge Jaqueline Scott Corley sees Microsoft able to move forward with the agreement, albeit with the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) still blocking the deal.


"The FTC has not shown it is likely to succeed on its assertion the combined firm will probably pull Call of Duty from Sony PlayStation, or that its ownership of Activision content will substantially lessen competition in the video game library subscription and cloud gaming markets," Corley stated (via GameSpot).


Approval of Xbox's acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been carried through in more than 35 countries (with South Africa recently lending its approval), with only the CMA block to navigate, as the deal looks to close by the 18th July deadline.


“The evidence showed the Activision Blizzard deal is good for the industry and the FTC’s claims about console switching, multi-game subscription services, and cloud don’t reflect the realities of the gaming market,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer commented in a Twitter thread.


“Since we first announced this deal, our commitment to bringing more games to more people on more devices has only grown. We’ve signed multiple agreements to make Activision Blizzard’s games, Xbox first party games and Game Pass all available to more players than they are today,” he added.


“We know that players around the world have been watching this case closely and I’m proud of our efforts to expand player access and choice throughout this journey.”


Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick remarked that the merger will “benefit consumers and workers. It will enable competition rather than allow entrenched market leaders to continue to dominate our rapidly growing industry.”


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