In an unsurprising turn of events, the Microsoft-Activision merger has temporarily been blocked in the United States. Upon learning that the companies plan to close the deal despite objections from UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, The Federal Trade Commission sought a temporary restraining order as well a preliminary injunction, and it was expected to be granted the former while the court considers an injunction.
Why the Microsoft-Activision deal has temporarily been blocked, and what’s next
The U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California has barred Microsoft and Activision from closing the deal until it has considered FTC’s arguments for a preliminary injunction. If the FTC is granted an injunction, Microsoft and Activision won’t be able to merge until the FTC presents its case and a ruling is made in favor of the companies. Should the FTC fail to get an injunction, it can still present its case but Microsoft and Activision will be able to close the deal.
For now, Microsoft and Activision will not be able to merge this month as previously expected, and their deadline of July 18 is fast approaching.
Microsoft sees the accelerated legal process as a win because it wants to avoid any complications that might stem from missing the aforementioned deadline.