In response to the FTC’s plea to delay the transaction while the broader appeal is considered, Microsoft urges an appeals court to reject the request. The tech giant argues that the agency’s filing in federal court was tardy and, therefore, inappropriate to seek a delay at this stage.
Microsoft has taken a firm stance against the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) request to put a stop to its $69 billion deal with Activision.
Microsoft urges court to reject the activision deal pause criticised FTC’s litigation strategy and disputes the agency’s assertions that the acquisition would have negative consequences for gamers. The FTC’s argument centers on the concern that Microsoft might restrict access to popular games like “Call of Duty,” potentially giving the company an advantage over competitors such as Sony, which sells the PlayStation console. However, Microsoft firmly disagrees with this viewpoint.
Legal experts are of the opinion that the FTC faces an uphill battle in persuading the appeals court to overturn the ruling that allowed the deal to proceed. The court’s decision is likely to hinge on the interpretation and application of relevant antitrust laws.
In addition to the proceedings in the United States, the deal is also awaiting approval from the Competition and Markets Authority in Britain. The British regulator is examining potential antitrust concerns before granting its decision. A deadline of August 29 has been set for the authority to reach a conclusion on the matter.
It is noteworthy that this is the second time during the Biden administration that the FTC has attempted to thwart a major technology company’s acquisition of a content-focused firm.
The first instance was Meta’s acquisition of Within Unlimited, a virtual reality content maker, where the FTC’s efforts also ended in failure. The outcome of these high-profile cases will likely have implications for future acquisitions and the regulatory landscape surrounding such deals.