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Microsoft's $69B Acquisition of Activision Blizzard Approved by US Judge

An American judge has given the green light to Microsoft's massive $69 billion acquisition of videogame giant Activision Blizzard, rejecting antitrust objections.

Logos of Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard
Logos of Microsoft and Activision-Blizzard

US Court Upholds Microsoft's Activision Blizzard Purchase

In a groundbreaking ruling, a US judge permitted tech titan Microsoft to proceed with its planned purchase of videogame manufacturer Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI). This decision, which was made on Tuesday, overruled the antitrust enforcers' plea for an interim injunction to halt the staggering $69 billion agreement.

Extended Time for FTC Appeal

Separately, the court extended its provisional restraining order until July 14, 11:59 pm, providing an opportunity for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to challenge the decision. The FTC had initially appealed to the judge to halt the impending merger, contending it would offer exclusive access to Activision games to Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT), the creator of the Xbox gaming console.

Potential Impact on Game Availability

The FTC's main worry was that the deal could potentially monopolize the availability of games like the top-selling "Call of Duty" on the Xbox platform, thereby restricting availability on other gaming platforms.

Promises of Increased Competition and Consumer Benefits

In response to these concerns, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick assured that the merger would prove advantageous to both consumers and employees. "Our merger will benefit consumers and workers. It will enable competition rather than allow entrenched market leaders to continue to dominate our rapidly growing industry,” Kotick stated.

Microsoft Expresses Gratitude for Ruling

In reaction to the judge's decision, Microsoft President Brad Smith expressed his gratitude via a tweet, praising the "quick and thorough" judgment, signaling a significant step forward in the tech giant's expansion into the gaming industry.