Microsoft has won the legal battle against the US Federal Trade Commission, with the judge denying an injunction to halt the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. While it can close the deal ahead of its July 18th deadline, it still needs to agree with the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK after it blocked the same. The hearing was set for July 28th, past the deadline, but both parties have agreed to a stay on the litigation to negotiate.
Microsoft president Brad Smith said, “After today’s court decision in the U.S., our focus now turns back to the UK. While we ultimately disagree with the CMA’s concerns, we are considering how the transaction might be modified to address those concerns in a way that is acceptable to the CMA.
“To prioritize work on these proposals, Microsoft and Activision have agreed with the CMA that a stay of the litigation in the UK would be in the public interest, and the parties have made a joint submission to the Competition Appeal Tribunal to this effect.”
The authority confirmed its decision to The Verge, stating it’s “ready to consider any proposals from Microsoft to restructure the transaction in a way that would address the concerns set out in our Final Report.” It’s now on the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to approve the request.
Even if both parties still don’t agree, the merge has been approved in Europe. As such, Microsoft could stop selling Activision Blizzard products in the UK or have it exit the region entirely to get around the merger being blocked. Time will tell, so stay tuned for further updates. In the meantime, check out some of the reveals from the FTC vs Microsoft trial here.
Our statement on the mutual request with the CMA for a pause of our appeal in the UK: pic.twitter.com/8Aky2IJjxS
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) July 11, 2023