Federal Trade Commission issued another ban, Temporarily blocking Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has heretofore declared its intention to formally litigate against Microsoft, aiming to hinder the latter’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, under the premise that the transaction would unjustly endow Microsoft with a competitive edge in pivotal domains of the gaming industry. With concerns over the completion of the acquisition, with a total transaction volume reaching $68.7 billion, prior to the deadline, the FTC has presented a new motion requesting a temporary obstruction of the transaction involving Activision Blizzard.

According to Eurogamer, the FTC has applied for a temporary restraining order to the court as of June 12th, which has been granted, mandating the ‘necessity of maintaining the status quo during the pendency of litigation’. The FTC articulates that the transaction might ‘substantially reduce’ competition within North America’s gaming industry. Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are also summoned to attend a two-day hearing slated for June 22nd in San Francisco, California, with the FTC’s administrative review anticipated to commence on August 2nd.

In addition, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are enjoined to ‘prevent their officials, directors, domestic or foreign agents, departments, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, or joint ventures from directly or indirectly completing or perfecting the proposed transaction or transactions substantially similar’.

A spokesperson from Microsoft conveyed to the media their satisfaction over the FTC’s timely litigation, believing that the temporary restraining order is meaningful. Accelerating the legal process can ultimately provide more choices and competition for game testing, and the court is also taking swift action.