Microsoft’s $75 Billion Acquisition of Activision Moves Closer as Judge Denies FTC Injunction

Jordan Novet, reporting for CNBC:

A federal judge in San Francisco has denied the Federal Trade Commission’s motion for a preliminary injunction to stop Microsoft from completing its acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard.

The deal isn’t completely in the clear, though. The FTC can now bring the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and the two companies must find a way forward to resolve opposition from the Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom.

The deadline to close the deal is next week, but the market expects it to happen:

Activision Blizzard shares reached a session high and 52-week high of $92.91 per share after the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued the decision. Microsoft had agreed to buy the game publisher for $95 per share. Activision Blizzard stock ended Tuesday’s trading session at $90.99 per share, up 10%.

This is another case where the Biden FTC is barking up the wrong tree. Microsoft is a major player in video games, to say the least, but Xbox is the third-place console, and Microsoft has made a legally-binding commitment not just to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for 10 years, but to bring the franchise to Nintendo Switch.

Wednesday, 12 July 2023