Court Sides With Microsoft Against the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has lost its bid to win a temporary injunction to block Microsoft's Activision Blizzard purchase....
Court Sides With Microsoft Against the FTC
Written by Staff
  • The Federal Trade Commission has lost its bid to win a temporary injunction to block Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard purchase.

    The FTC successfully got a temporary restraining order to block the acquisition while it sought an injunction. According to The Verge, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley has sided with Microsoft, accepting the company’s commitments to keeping Call of Duty on competing platforms, a major source of concern for the FTC.

    Judge Corley explained her decision:

    Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision has been described as the largest in tech history. It deserves scrutiny. That scrutiny has paid off: Microsoft has committed in writing, in public, and in court to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for 10 years on parity with Xbox. It made an agreement with Nintendo to bring Call of Duty to Switch. And it entered several agreements to for the first time bring Activision’s content to several cloud gaming services.

    This Court’s responsibility in this case is narrow. It is to decide if, notwithstanding these current circumstances, the merger should be halted—perhaps even terminated—pending resolution of the FTC administrative action. For the reasons explained, the Court finds the FTC has not shown a likelihood it will prevail on its claim this particular vertical merger in this specific industry may substantially lessen competition. To the contrary, the record evidence points to more consumer access to Call of Duty and other Activision content. The motion for a preliminary injunction is therefore DENIED.

    The Verge also reports that the court’s decision has led to further talks between Microsoft and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. The CMA voted to block the deal, but the court’s decision has the CMA and Microsoft back at the negotiating table.

    Meanwhile, the EU has already given the deal a green light. US lawmakers have also come out in favor of the deal. With the court’s ruling, it certainly seems like momentum is swinging in Microsoft’s favor.

    Get the WebProNews newsletter delivered to your inbox

    Get the free daily newsletter read by decision makers

    Advertise with Us

    Ready to get started?

    Get our media kit