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FTC Appeals Court Decision Permitting Microsoft’s Activision Acquisition

As was expected, the Federal Trade Commission has filed an appeal against Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley’s recent decision in favor of Microsoft’s proposal of buying Activision.

The FTC has appealed Judge Corley’s decision regarding Microsoft’s attempt to buy Activision

According to The Verge, the appeal has been filed, but the full arguments won’t be made public until it is submitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Because of this appeal, it needs the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to send out an emergency stay to extend the temporary restraining order that is currently going to expire on 11:59 p.m. PT on July 14. If it doesn’t rule before the deal’s deadline on July 18, it would be possible for Microsoft to close the deal rather soon without a restraining order.

President of Microsoft Brad Smith also released a statement on the matter and called out the FTC’s case for being “demonstrably weak.”

“The District Court’s ruling makes crystal clear that this acquisition is good for both competition and consumers,” said Smith. “We’re disappointed that the FTC is continuing to pursue what has become a demonstrably weak case, and we will oppose further efforts to delay the ability to move forward.”

However, it still has the Competition and Markets Authority to deal with in the United Kingdom. Microsoft and the CMA have agreed to pause their litigation, but the CMA noted that a new deal could lead to a new investigation. CNBC first reported that the two had agreed to a “small divestiture” to address the CMA’s qualms around cloud gaming, but an edit explained that Microsoft had just offered “a small and discrete divestiture,” which the CMA had not necessarily accepted. It’s unclear what this divestiture could be, but it’s possible that it has to do some sort of cloud-specific change in Europe.

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