US Judge Rejects Gamer Lawsuit's Preliminary Injunction Against Microsoft-Activision Deal

A California judge has denied gamers' request in a private lawsuit to preliminarily block Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

A United States judge has ruled in Microsoft's favor in a lawsuit brought forth by a group of gamers seeking to prevent the planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

As reported by Reuters, US District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in San Francisco federal court has dismissed the group's request for a preliminary injunction to block the $68.7 billion acquisition. Judge Corley determined that the plaintiffs did not provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that they would be "irreparably harmed" if the merger proceeds.

Additionally, the judge remained unconvinced by the group's assertion that Microsoft would restrict their ability to access popular titles like Call of Duty and expressed skepticism regarding the likelihood of Microsoft securing exclusive rights to newer versions of "Call of Duty" before a final decision is made regarding the merits of the acquisition.

"The day after the merger they can play exactly the same way they played with their friends before the merger," Corley wrote.

Initially filed in December, the lawsuit was subsequently dismissed by Corley in March due to its lack of substantial evidence that the deal would harm competition in the market. The plaintiffs were granted a 20-day period to revise and resubmit their lawsuit, which they did in April.

Apart from the gamers' lawsuit, Microsoft is facing several other regulatory obstacles. In December, the US Federal Trade Commission filed an antitrust lawsuit in an attempt to block the acquisition. Additionally, the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK has announced its disapproval of the transaction, following which Microsoft has stated its intention to appeal the decision.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has received the green light in several markets, most notably, in the European Union, one of the crucial regions it needs to gain support from alongside the US and UK. Most recently, China has also granted its approval for the proposed acquisition.

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