FTC tries again to block Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard2023-12-08 18:14 by Daniela
Tags: FTC, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is once again attempting to block Microsoft's $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard - the maker of the "Call of Duty" video game franchise - and arguing that a federal judge wrongly allowed it to proceed.
Microsoft moved to acquire Activision in January 2022 in what is billed as the largest acquisition in the history of gaming. The tech giant prevailed over the FTC's effort to block the acquisition in the federal Northern District of California in July, and after the deal received the blessing of British regulators in September, the deal was closed in October.
The FTC is appealing the federal district court's ruling that permitted the deal to proceed, arguing that the lower-court judge held the antitrust regulator to too high a standard.
The agency is expected to argue before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the lower court erred by effectively requiring it to prove that the deal was anti-competitive when the appropriate standard is simply that the deal raises serious competitive concerns.
The tech giant is expected to argue before the three-judge appellate panel that the FTC failed to show that the district court judge was mistaken in her ruling that the acquisition wasn't anti-competitive or demonstrate that Microsoft would withhold the "Call of Duty" franchise from other gaming platforms.
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