FTC appeals judge’s ruling that would allow Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard takeover
Jul 13, 2023, 11:06 AM
(AP Photo/Peter Morgan, File)
The Federal Trade Commission says it it appealing a judge’s ruling that would have allowed Microsoft to close its deal to buy video game company Activision Blizzard.
A Wednesday court filing from the FTC says it is appealing it to the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Antitrust enforcers at the FTC have been trying to stop Microsoft’s $68.7 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard, maker of popular game franchises like Call of Duty, arguing it will harm competition in the video game industry.
But in a Tuesday ruling, U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denied the FTC’s request to block the deal from closing. She said the FTC hadn’t shown that the merger would cause serious harm and was unlikely to prevail if it took the case to a full trial.
Microsoft had promised to pay Activision Blizzard a $3 billion breakup fee if it can’t close the deal by Tuesday, which will mark 18 months since it was announced. But both companies could also agree to delay that deadline.