The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun its appeal against a recent court ruling in favor of Microsoft‘s purchase of Activision Blizzard.
Microsoft’s intended acquisition of Activision Blizzard has come under a great deal of scrutiny from governments the world over. Despite this, Microsoft won its battle with the FTC, a federal judge ruling in favor of the legality of the acquisition. However, despite Judge Corley’s ruling, the FTC has filed a full notice of appeal, in an attempt to commence steps towards reversing the decision.
In order for the appeal to progress any further, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will need to issue an emergency stay to extend the temporary restraining order responsible for blocking the acquisition in the run-up to the initial case. Though we cannot say for certain whether or not the Ninth Circuit will take this step in the FTC’s favor.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Microsoft still needs to contend with the ruling by the UK government’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) which blocked the merger on the grounds that it would allow Microsoft to cultivate a gaming monopoly. Ironically, Microsoft’s own appeal against the CMA is ongoing within the UK court system.
Microsoft’s acquisition plans have found a warmer reception in other parts of the world. The Chinese government fully approved the deal, while the EU chose to approve the acquisition, albeit with some significant caveats.
At least in public, Microsoft remains confident that the FTC’s appeal will end in much the same way as the initial case. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice chair and president, stated that “the District Court’s ruling makes crystal clear that this acquisition is good for both competition and consumers… We’re disappointed that the FTC is continuing to pursue what has become a demonstrably weak case” (via The Verge).
In the meantime, the ball remains firmly in the Ninth Circuit’s Court.
If you’re looking to see what all the fuss is about, check out our list of the best Xbox Game Pass Games. If you’d rather ditch the court drama and pursue escapism in a more direct fashion, our list of best RPGs will set you on the right path.