FTC appealing Microsoft Activision deal verdict

Microsoft-Activision Deal to Continue Facing Legal Challenge From FTC

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to continue pursuing its legal challenge against the MicrosoftActivision Blizzard deal despite recent setbacks. The decision comes as a bit of a surprise after the regulator’s British counterpart, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), provisionally approved the merger.

What’s next for Microsoft, Activision, and the FTC?

As reported by Bloomberg, the FTC believes it has a strong case against the merger due to its anti-competitive nature. The regulator will first exhaust the federal appeals process before moving forward with its in-house trial. Its appeal is against the recent court verdict allowing Microsoft and Activision to close the deal in October.

“The FTC continues to believe this deal is a threat to competition,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg, adding that the regulator’s “current focus is on the federal appeals process.” Microsoft and Activision, on the other hand, are determined to seal the deal in October.

In the event that the FTC ultimately wins its case against Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, the Xbox maker may be required to divest. However, following recent remedies proposed by Microsoft — including but not limited to handing over Activision cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft — it’s unlikely that the FTC will win.