After months of regulatory approvals, Microsoft has finally cleared its biggest hurdle. The Federal Trade Commission has lost its appeal of the July 10th ruling that allowed the deal to go ahead.
Earlier this week, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley had denied FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction, siding with Microsoft on their claims that the company had made sufficient commitments to ensure that consumers would still have access to Activision Blizzard’s games.
FTC had then again appealed this decision to prevent Microsoft from closing the deal till the case is over, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied their second appeal, and now, this means that Microsoft has the green-light to go ahead with securing the deal. But there is one minor hurdle, the CMA.
See, Microsoft has already secured approval from thirty nine countries, and as of this writing, only CMA has rejected the acquisition.
The deal is still subject to review by the CMA, but it is unlikely that the they will block the acquisition. The CMA has already said that it is satisfied with Microsoft’s commitments to keep Call of Duty available on PlayStation and other platforms.
If the CMA does not block the acquisition, it is expected to close by this month. The deadline for the deal has also been extended from July 18th to August 29th. The deal would make Microsoft the third-largest gaming company in the world, behind Tencent and Sony.
Microsoft, Activision Blizzard Consider Selling Cloud Gaming Rights in UK
In order to address concerns raised by the CMA, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are reportedly considering selling some of their cloud-gaming rights in the UK, to close down the deal as soon as possible.
The CMA is concerned that the acquisition could give Microsoft too much control over the cloud-gaming market in the UK. But the real issue lies in the timing here. If the deal doesn’t close by 18th, Microsoft would be forced to pay Activision $3 billion in damages, unless a settlement is reached.
This is all we know for now, but rest assured that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.