The Federal Trade Commission’s request to block the acquisition by Microsoft of the video game maker Activision Blizzard, was granted by a judge in the United States on June 13, 2023. A hearing of the same is due next week. The FTC had requested a preliminary injunction for June 22-23 in San Francisco. The two day evidentiary hearing for the request was scheduled by US District Judge Edward Davila. If the court order was not brought then Microsoft would have closed the deal for $69 billion as early as on June 16, 2023.
The FTC is responsible to enforce antitrust law and had asked the administrative judge to block the transaction in December 2022. The evidential hearing of the injunction is expected to begin on August 2, 2023. The federal court on the basis of the evidential hearing in June, will decide if a preliminary injunction is necessary. The temporary block of the deal was sought by the FTC on June 12, 2023. Davila during a hearing said that the temporary restraining order that was issued on June 13, 2023 was essential to maintain the status quo while the complaint continues to remain pending. The judge added that it will also preserve the ability of the court to order effective relief.
The parties Microsoft and Activision, involved will have to submit legal documents while opposing preliminary injunction by June 16, 2023. The FTC is expected to reply on June 20, 2023. Activision had different opinions on different days. The company on Monday said that the decision by FTC to seek federal court order was a welcome update. But it refused to comment on June 13, 2023.
On the other hand Microsoft opined that carrying on with the legal process in the United States will bring them more choice as well as competition to the gaming market. The software giant also said that a temporary restraining order also makes sense as they wait for a decision from the court.
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