Skip to content

FTC's Appeal on Microsoft-Activision Deal Awaits Verdict: U.S. Appeals Court Opens Docket

A recent development in the high-stakes antitrust case involving Microsoft's acquisition of Activision is set to heat up as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) challenges a previous ruling.

Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard logos on the phone screen
Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard logos on the phone screen

FTC Seeks to Overturn Previous Ruling on Microsoft-Activision Deal

In a significant legal move, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is striving to overturn its prior defeat against tech giant Microsoft's acquisition of Activision, the maker of the popular video game "Call of Duty." The case has now reached the U.S. appeals court on the West Coast, which opened a docket on this high-profile issue last Thursday.

Microsoft Triumphs in Initial Round, FTC Set to Fight Back

Microsoft initially achieved victory in the case on Tuesday, when a federal judge in California ruled that the FTC failed to demonstrate the illegality of the deal under antitrust laws. However, the FTC announced its intention to challenge this decision late on Wednesday, prompting Microsoft to prepare for the incoming appeal battle.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to Examine FTC's Appeal

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where the docket has been opened, implies the FTC's appeal text is imminent. However, the court has yet to announce a concrete schedule for this appeal process.

Regulatory Hurdles Threaten Completion of Microsoft-Activision Deal

The presence of these outstanding regulatory challenges increases the possibility of the Microsoft-Activision agreement expiring on July 18 without the deal's completion. Post this date, either of the companies can opt to dissolve the deal unless they decide to negotiate an extension.

District Judge Dismisses Claims of Deal Hurting Consumers

U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley, stationed in San Francisco, dismissed the Biden administration's argument that the deal could negatively impact consumers. She stated that the deal would not necessarily lead to Microsoft, the Xbox game console manufacturer, gaining exclusive access to blockbuster games like "Call of Duty."