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FTC suspends administrative challenge to Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal

This likely means Microsoft's purchase of Activision blizzard will go through.

Danielle Riendeau, Editor-in-Chief

July 21, 2023

2 Min Read
Activision Blizzard logo on green background

As reported by The Verge, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is suspending its administrative challenge to Microsoft's $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The decision was taken shortly after Microsoft and Activision Blizzard filed a motion asking the FTC to throw in the towel and stop trying to block the merger after multiple failed attempts.

It's important to note that the deal is not closed yet, though the FTC withdrawing its in-house challenge is a huge boon to Microsoft. According to The Verge, The FTC is still appealing the preliminary injunction denial.

As reported earlier today, Microsoft extended its merger deadline until October 18 of this year to deal with any remaining issues from regulators.

"We will honor all commitments agreed upon with the EC and other regulators and continue to work with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on the issues raised in the UK," said Microsoft president Brad Smith in a statement. "We are confident about our prospects for getting this deal across the finish line."

Another FTC hurdle is out of the way for Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, but what about the CMA?

The other major hurdle still standing in place is the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ban in the UK. In our story earlier in the month, we noted that the CMA is the biggest obstacle currently in place, with the regulator implementing an interim ban to prevent both publishers from acquiring one another without express permission.

Both companies are currently working to appeal the original block from the CMA, and remain in discussions with the regulator over concessions that might seal approval in the UK. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick noted in a statement the two would "work with UK regulators to address any remaining concerns so our merger can quickly close."

Check out our ongoing coverage here for more details on the proposed acquisition (and all of the decidedly juicy backstory).

About the Author(s)

Danielle Riendeau

Editor-in-Chief, GameDeveloper.com

Danielle is the editor-in-chief of Game Developer, with previous editorial posts at Fanbyte, VICE, and Polygon. She’s also a lecturer in game design at the Berklee College of Music, and a hobbyist game developer in her spare time.

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