The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has confirmed that it will proceed with its internal challenge to Microsoft’s proposed purchase of Activision Blizzard. This comes as a surprise, as it was reported in July that Microsoft had won the lawsuit against the FTC and could proceed with the acquisition.
According to reports, the FTC’s case will now be examined by its internal administrative law judge in a trial-like process. Despite Microsoft and Activision being willing to complete their merger before the October 18th deadline, Bloomberg notes that the FTC can challenge the agreement even after it closes.
The FTC believes that this deal poses a threat to competition, as stated by Victoria Graham, a spokesperson for the commission. While they have put the issue on the commission’s agenda, their current focus is on the federal appeal process.
In response to this news, a spokesperson for Activision Blizzard stated that they are focused on working with Microsoft towards the closing, and that the decision on how the FTC uses taxpayers’ financial resources is their responsibility. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Microsoft affirmed that they continue to anticipate closing the transaction before October 18th and have confidence in the benefits of the agreement for players and competition.
Sources: VGC, Bloomberg