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Microsoft Wins FTC Fight to Acquire Activision Blizzard

The epic battle is over.

A California judge decided to allow Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard after the violent trial process. Microsoft still needs to deal with an ongoing antitrust case by the Federal Trade Commission though. Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley studied the arguments of the FTC and Microsoft and decided that Microsoft is the winner in this case.

In a ruling revealed today, Judge Corley said:

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. 

This decision will allow Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard ahead of the July 18th deadline, but they still need to deal with the UK regulator.

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