FTC Files Appeal Following Microsoft Activision Loss in Court

FTC Files Appeal Following Microsoft Activision Loss in Court

FTC Files Appeal Following Microsoft Activision Loss in Court

by
William D’Angelo
, posted 4 hours ago / 1,030 Views

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US has filed an appeal following its loss yesterday when Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denied the preliminary injunction it was seeking and ruled in favor of Microsoft for its acquisition Activision Blizzard.

“Notice is hereby given that Plaintiff Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit…denying the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction pursuant to Federal Trade Commission Act,” reads the Plaintiff’s notice of appeal.

Judge Corley in her ruling stated, “the FTC has not shown it is likely to succeed on its assertion the combined firm will probably pull Call of Duty from Sony PlayStation, or that its ownership of Activision content will substantially lessen competition in the video game library subscription and cloud gaming markets.”

FTC Files Appeal Following Microsoft Activision Loss in Court

Now that the FTC has filed its appeal it needs the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to issue an emergency stay to extend the current temporary restraining order, which will end on Friday, July 14 at 11:59 pm PT. It isn’t known if the court will rule by the deadline and if they don’t Microsoft could attempt to close the Activision Blizzard deal.

“The District Court’s ruling makes crystal clear that this acquisition is good for both competition and consumers,” said Microsoft’s vice chair and president Brad Smith in a statement. “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.”

Activision Blizzard’s CCO and EVP of corporate affairs Lulu Cheng Meservey in a statement via Twitter added, “The facts haven’t changed. We’re confident the U.S. will remain among the 39 countries where the merger can close. We look forward to demonstrating the strength of our case in court – again.”

The facts haven’t changed. We’re confident the U.S. will remain among the 39 countries where the merger can close.

We look forward to demonstrating the strength of our case in court – again.

— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) July 12, 2023

Microsoft is still facing issues in the UK by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as the regulator in April blocked Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition, however, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard has appealed the decision. The hearings for the appeal were set to start on July 24, however, the CMA and Microsoft have decided to pause litigation to work out a new deal.

CMA media officer Billy Proudlock in a statement from today said discussions with Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are “at an early stage” and the two companies are considering how the transaction could be modified. 

“Whilst merging parties don’t have the opportunity to put forward new remedies once a final report has been issued, they can choose to restructure a deal, which can lead to a new merger investigation,” said Proudlock.

“Microsoft and Activision have indicated that they are considering how the transaction might be modified, and the CMA is prepared to engage with them on this basis. These discussions remain at an early stage and the nature and timing of next steps will be determined in due course. While both parties have requested a pause in Microsoft’s appeal to allow these discussions to take place, the CMA decision set out in its final report still stands.”

CNBC journalist David Faber reported yesterday Microsoft and the CMA had reached an agreement, however, they admit that was wrong and said Microsoft has offered a small divestiture, but the CMA hasn’t agreed to anything yet.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D’Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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