The United States Federal Trade Commission has requested a short halt to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King while they examine the deal for potential legal challenges. This request has been granted by US federal courts.
While short, this is yet another barrier that Microsoft will have to bust through before it can finally get its tenticles around the troubled developer of World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch. Thankfully for the corporation, this injunction grants just a few days for the FTC to figure a proper legal challenge. Failing that, the deals of the deal can continue as planned.
The injunction states: “Microsoft and Activision shall not close or consummate their proposed transaction or a substantially similar transaction until after 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the fifth business day after the Court rules on the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction”.
It continues: “Microsoft and Activision shall prevent any of their officers, directors, domestic or foreign agents, divisions, subsidiaries, affiliates, partnerships, or joint ventures from closing or consummating, directly or indirectly, the proposed transaction or a substantially similar transaction.” In short, no movement can be made on the deal until five business days following the injuction.
This, of course, comes after perhaps the largest bump in the road for the deal, courtesy of the UK’s CMA which refused to approve the deal. While both Activision Blizzard and Microsoft are attempting to appeal this decision, it has made the future murky for the acquisition.
This, in combination with the aforementioned temporary block has resulted in the deal reaching a halt. An interesting development, considering it looked like a sure thing back when it breezed through European institutional approval. As pointed out by Jay Peters at The Verge, we’re gradually reaching the established July 18 deadline that was initially set on the deals announcement. If we pass that date without the deal concluding, Microsoft could have to pay Activision Blizzard 3 billion dollars.
Do you think the deal will get approval across the board before the July 18 deadline? Do you think the FTC will pursue further? Let us know below!