Microsoft-Activision Deal Might Get Delayed Following FTC’s Scheduling Order

The recently released FTC timeline suggests that Microsoft’s goal of purchasing Activision Blizzard by June 2023 may not be met. The FTC released its whole scheduling order for the Microsoft/Activision Blizzard lawsuit online yesterday, January 10. The scheduling order discloses that the FTC won’t conduct final hearings concerning the matter until later this year on August 2, barring any further delays.

Bobby Kotick, head of Activision Blizzard, said in a staff email sent in November 2022 that he was certain the Microsoft purchase would conclude by June 2023. This objective reportedly resulted from Microsoft’s current fiscal year ending in June 2023. Kotick at the time assured employees that he was not concerned that a then-new European Union inquiry into the purchase would interfere with the June objective. The FTC’s plan seems to have put a significant roadblock in the path of Kotick and the company’s original objective, pushing things back until at least August 2023.

Microsoft-Activision Deal Under the Radar of Several Regulators and Competitors

Remember that the FTC’s August 2 deadline just signals the start of the purchase of Microsoft hearings. As a result, it is highly feasible that the hearings, followed by the FTC’s decision, might go on for many months beyond August 2. Following the conclusion of the lawsuit’s pre-trial hearing, it seemed that Microsoft was not interested in settling. However, it did backtrack on its prior claim that the FTC complaint was “unconstitutional“.

One of Microsoft’s main competitors, Sony, has been the most outspoken in its opposition to this agreement. Although Microsoft had pledged to keep Call of Duty games on PlayStation for ten years, SIE’s Jim Ryan reportedly traveled to Europe to persuade the EU to veto this arrangement. At the time, the future of Call of Duty games on PlayStation was in question.

Chile, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil, which have authorized this merger, have given Microsoft some support. The Communication Workers of America (CWA) has also expressed support for this since it may enhance Activision-Blizzard workers’ working conditions.

Credits: GamesRadar


Muhammad Zuhair

Passionate about technology and gaming content, Zuhair focuses on analysing information and then presenting it to the audience.
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