In what seems to be the acquisition battle with no end, the FTC has filed to appeal Judge Corley’s decision denying a preliminary injunction that would stop Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard.
The FTC had until this coming Friday to present an appeal or not, and this now confirms it is willing to continue the fight to try and block this merger from happening.
This marks another leg of the roller coaster this week has been in regards to this deal. When Judge Corley announced her decision, everything suddenly looked like it was going Microsoft’s way.
The FTC had lost in court, and the UK’s CMA had agreed to pause litigation while Microsoft worked on amending the deal to address the CMA’s concerns, potentially avoiding Microsoft having to appeal the CMA’s block decision at all.
Barely a day later, everything is now up in the air again, as the CMA clarified earlier on Wednesday that its decision to block the deal still stands while Microsoft looks at amending it, and any changes made could open up a brand new investigation into the deal, which once again extends the timeline on this massive merger.
Now the FTC isn’t giving up in the same way it has done in the past, and this could all spell trouble for Microsoft and Activision when it comes to closing this deal.
All we’ve got today is that the FTC is appealing Tuesday’s decision. We don’t know exactly what arguments it’ll be appealing with yet, but for now we know that this legal battle will continue to drag on.
It’s worth pointing out though that with this appeal might still be too late to block the deal. The deadline for it is only six days away on July 18, 2023, and without a ruling actively restraining Microsoft and Activision from closing the acquisition, both parties will likely do so given the chance.
With the deal then closed in the US, the UK’s CMA will remain the big roadblock to the merger, or potentially it’ll create an awkward situation where the UK stands as the only region where Activision Blizzard games just aren’t published.
Even though it briefly looked as though this deal would come to a close, the only sure thing about it now is that it is far from being over.
Source – [The Verge]