FTC files a temporary injunction to prevent Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard

by Danny Craig  · 
FTC files a temporary injunction to prevent Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it has filed a request for a "temporary restraining order" to prevent Microsoft from closing its deal with Activision Blizzard.

The details:

  • The FTC confirmed to IGN that it had requested a temporary injunction since Microsoft and Activision had not "provided assurances" after it previously implied that it "cannot close their deal due to antitrust reviews of the transaction in other jurisdictions." Despite the FTC and the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decision to block the deal, both Microsoft and Activision have publicly stated that they intend to close it soon.
  • Shortly after the restraining order rumors were confirmed, Microsoft's vice chairman and president, Brad Smith, stated on Twitter that the decision "benefits everyone" and should "accelerate the decision-making process." Before the FTC's announcement, Smith stated, "We welcome the opportunity to present our case in federal court," and Microsoft believes that "accelerating the legal process in the US will ultimately bring more choice and competition to the market.”
  • Following the news, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick sent a letter to employees, echoing Smith's sentiments, stating that it was "a welcome update and one that accelerates the legal process." Kotick wrote near the end of the letter that the company is "ready to present [its] case to a federal judge who can evaluate the transaction on the merits" and that it is in a "strong position" thanks to the "dedication and hard work" of the publisher's employees.
  • The FTC filed a lawsuit against Microsoft in December 2022, claiming that the deal would "gain control of top video game franchises" and harm competition by denying rivals, primarily PlayStation, access to some of its popular franchises, such as Call of Duty. The CMA also blocked the deal in April 2023 due to concerns about the company's control over the cloud gaming market, while the European Commission approved it after Microsoft addressed similar concerns.

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