September 30, 2023

In yet one more authorized victory for Microsoft, a U.S. Appeals court docket has dominated in opposition to the Federal Commerce Fee’s (FTC’s) emergency movement to halt the software program large’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

“The movement to file the district court docket’s preliminary injunction opinion below seal is granted,” the very transient resolution issued by the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the ninth Circuit reads. “The movement for injunctive aid is denied.”

“We recognize the Ninth Circuit’s swift response denying the FTC’s movement to additional delay the deal,” Microsoft president Brad Smith mentioned. “This brings us one other step nearer to the end line on this marathon of world regulatory evaluations.”

As I’m positive you understand, Microsoft simply defeated the FTC’s try to dam its Activision Blizzard acquisition after a late June listening to. However the FTC filed an emergency movement two days later over fears that Microsoft would rapidly finalize the transaction. As we speak’s ruling denies that movement, handing the FTC the back-to-back authorized defeats it deserves.

Microsoft now not faces any authorized hurdles within the U.S. in its bid to accumulate Activision Blizzard earlier than the deal’s July 18, 2023 deadline. The 2 firms at the moment are free to conclude the deal as quickly as tomorrow, Saturday, July 14.

That mentioned, the acquisition nonetheless faces a single authorized problem, within the UK, as that nation’s Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA) determined to dam the transaction in April. However when the FTC was soundly defeated earlier this week, the UK CMA introduced that it could renegotiate with Microsoft in an try to reply its (nonsensical) issues. It then rapidly claimed that such a renegotiation would require a brand new investigation on its half, a prolonged course of, and so the probably end result is that Microsoft will merely finalize the acquisition after which negotiate with the CMA afterward by itself sluggish schedule.