Society & Lifestyle

FTC Files to Block Microsoft From Closing Activision Deal

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday, June 12, filed a lawsuit against Microsoft in the federal court of California to block the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by the technology giant.

FTC Files to Block Microsoft From Closing Activision Deal

The value of this deal is $69 billion. In the application, which was filed in the federal court of California, the regulator is seeking an order to block the transaction before the deadline of July 18. The FTC also asks the agency’s internal court to provide an opportunity for consideration.

On Monday, at the end of trading, the share price of the technology giant showed an increase of 1.6%. As a result of this dynamics, the indicator reached $ 331.85. The value of Activision Blizzard shares decreased by 0.8% to $79.77.

Microsoft President Brad Smith welcomed the opportunity to present the case in federal court. He also expressed confidence that the acceleration of the trial in the United States will contribute to the expansion of choice and competition in the market.

The $69 billion deal has been subject to tough antitrust scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic. Microsoft, which produces the Xbox game console, has received approval to implement a commercial agreement to purchase Activision Blizzard in the European Union. At the same time, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opposed the implementation of the deal. The regulator justified its position by the fact that in this case Microsoft’s advantage over competitors in the cloud gaming market, which is not characterized by a large scale but demonstrates confident growth dynamics, will strengthen.

Microsoft is appealing the CMA’s decision, the execution of which is a mandatory measure worldwide.

Brad Smith met with UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt in early June to discuss the deal, the implementation of which is fraught with serious obstacles. After the decision of the CMA to veto the takeover of Activision Blizzard, the head of the company said that this result greatly disappoints him. He also said that obstructing the deal harms people’s trust in technology in the UK.

The FTC first filed a lawsuit to block the purchase of Activision Blizzard in December in its internal court. The regulator said that this transaction will negatively affect competition in the American video game market. At the same time, this decision did not become an obstacle for Microsoft. The tech giant closed the deal. In response, the FTC asked a federal judge to block the transaction.

The trial at the agency will begin on August 2. Experts say that the final decision will be made closer to the end of the year.


Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.