FTC Launches New Appeal in Microsoft-Activision Deal

The last attempt before the stay on the acquisition lifts on July 14, 2023.

In the latest entry to the ongoing saga that is the Microsoft-Activision acquisition, US regulators, the FTC, recently appealed a previous judge’s ruling to deny the injunction launched by the regulatory organization earlier this month. This is just in time for the July 14 deadline, which will see a temporary hold on the acquisition expire, just in time for the deal’s July 18 deadline. 

For the past year, Microsoft, Activision, and its executives have been fairly bullish about the prospect of the deal, and this latest attempt by the FTC to delay the acquisition is one of the last remedies they can take before the process is finalized and the two companies become one. 

As we’ve extensively reported, the acquisition has seen a series of hurdles, most notably being denied in the UK completely by the Competition and Markets Authority or CMA. While other regulatory bodies have raised concerns about the potential future exclusivity of their titles, including Call of Duty, and their potential dominance over the cloud gaming market, these concerns have been remedied by concessions the company plans to take once the merger goes through.

It is unlikely, at this point, that the appeal will do anything to stop the acquisition, with Microsoft President Brad Smith saying,

The District Court’s ruling makes crystal clear that this acquisition is good for both competition and consumers. We’re disappointed that the FTC is continuing to pursue what has become a demonstrably weak case, and we will oppose further efforts to delay the ability to move forward.

As another strong signal toward the finalization of the deal, Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) will be removed from the Nasdaq on July 17, 2023. Onlookers will see the final result of all of this when the deal is finalized.

We’ll be following this story in our news section