Green light for Microsoft: Activision Blizzard acquisition to proceed as FTC hurdles clear
The FTC's case against Microsoft has reached its conclusion, presumably removing the final obstacle preventing the U.S. corporation from finalizing its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The FTC had demanded that the court block the transaction until all concerns had been addressed. However, the court did not acquiesce to this request.
This decision permits Microsoft to finalize the deal before the final deadline of July 18, as stipulated in the agreement. Failure to meet this deadline would deem the transaction unsuccessful, necessitating renegotiation from scratch. To reiterate, Microsoft plans to acquire Activision Blizzard at an estimated cost of $70 billion.
The British Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) remains a concern since it initially blocked the transaction in the United Kingdom. Microsoft has appealed against this block. Interestingly, soon after the U.S. court's verdict, both the British organization and the Redmond giant stated that they were suspending additional legal actions. Instead, they aim to commence new negotiations to define the upcoming transaction's conditions more adequately, with the intention of quelling any further doubts from the British authority.
All signs suggest that the transaction will eventually be successful on a global scale. The alternative would involve Microsoft or potentially Activision withdrawing from the U.K. market, an outcome that appears to be undesirable for all parties.
The FTC, responding to the verdict, announced that it would not stand down and plans to take further steps to protect competition and consumers in the United States. While they may still be able to enforce Microsoft to make added concessions, they will no longer be able to hinder the core transaction following today’s verdict.