A federal judge in California (USA) gave the green light on Tuesday to the disputed purchase of the video game company Activision Blizzard by the technology giant Microsoft that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had attempted delayer. Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley, who temporarily halted the agreement last month, listened to the parties for five days and today rejected a motion by the FTC to temporarily stop the purchase, whose deadline is July 18, local media information is.
In the 53-page decision, Corley indicated that the FTC has not convincingly demonstrated that this transaction would harm competition, while the parties have instead provided evidence that it will be beneficial to the consumers. Microsoft President Brad Smith thanked the judge in a brief note and expressed his “hope that other jurisdictions will continue to work to reach a timely resolution.”
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick also applauded the decision: “Our merger will benefit consumers and workers. Rapid growth.” Microsoft announced in February 2022 the purchase of Activision for almost 69,000 million dollars, in what would be the largest acquisition of the technology giant and the largest operation of its kind in the video game sector.
But the FTC filed a lawsuit in December, saying the deal would allow Microsoft to reduce competition in the video game industry by gaining control of major Activision-developed franchises such as “Warcraft,” “Call of Duty” or “Candy Crush.” Although the FTC has lost this battle, the operation still has obstacles, since the regulator can appeal this decision -something that it has already suggested it will do- and, apart from that, Microsoft has yet to resolve the purchase block in the United Kingdom.
“In the coming days we will announce our next step to continue fighting to preserve competition and protect consumers,” an FTC spokesman told CNBC, insisting that the purchase is a “clear threat” around the games. in the cloud, subscription services and consoles.