The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been denied its appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that allows Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard.
This is a major victory for Microsoft, bringing the company one step closer to becoming a gaming giant.
The FTC filed its appeal yesterday, hoping to stop the deal from closing by its deadline, July 18.
However, the US district judge who presided over the FTC’s attempt to stop the acquisition, Jacqueline Scott Corley, rejected the Federal Trade Commission’s late on Thursday (via Reuters).
Things need to move quickly, as of this point, Activision Blizzard will be pulled from the NASDAQ -100 Index on July 17 in anticipation of the acquisition. Should the deadline be missed, Microsoft must pay Activision Blizzard $3 billion and return to the negotiating table.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has extended its deadline for a final decision on the acquisition (thanks, GI.biz). This means that Microsoft has more time to close the deal, and it also gives the CMA more time to review the proposed changes that Microsoft has made to its acquisition plans.
The acquisition of Activision Blizzard would be the largest in the history of the gaming industry and would provide Microsoft with control of some of the biggest gaming franchises in the world, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush.
The deal has been met with some concerns from antitrust regulators, who worry that it could give Microsoft too much power in the industry; however, Microsoft has argued that the acquisition will benefit consumers by increasing competition and innovation.
It remains to be seen whether the CMA will approve the acquisition, but the denial of the FTC’s appeal is a major sign that the deal is moving closer to completion.