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FTC to appeal judge’s decision to let Microsoft buy Activision

by TodayDigitNews@gmail.com
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WASHINGTON, July 12 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday could push Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) plan to buy Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. announced that it is appealing the federal judge’s ruling. (ATVI.O).

Microsoft’s victory in court on Tuesday and its subsequent withdrawal by the UK competition authority brought the tech giant two steps closer to completing its partnership with Activision, Microsoft’s biggest deal ever.

Still, due to unresolved regulatory hurdles, the deal between Microsoft and Activision will likely expire on July 18th without the deal being completed. After July 18, either company will be free to terminate the contract unless they negotiate an extension.

FTC court filings on the appeal, which did not provide details, will be heard in the West Coast Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Microsoft said it plans to contest the appeal.

“We are disappointed that the FTC continues to pursue a clearly weak case and oppose further efforts to slow progress,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in an emailed statement. rice field.

The FTC declined to comment further on the notice of appeal.

The two companies successfully reversed the injunction against closing the deal in court on Tuesday, but a judge kept the injunction in place until Friday to give the FTC time to appeal.

The FTC may ask an appeals court to block the closing of the deal.

San Francisco U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corey, in his opinion, said the deal hurts consumers by giving Xbox console maker Microsoft exclusive access to games, including best-selling “Call of Duty.” dismissed the Biden administration’s claim to give.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which opposed the deal, said Wednesday that a restructuring deal between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard could satisfy its concerns, pending new investigations.

“Can” or “Do”?

U.S. legal experts are divided on whether the FTC has sufficient grounds for appeal, and some say appeals courts tend to leave matters of fact to judges, while Corey Others said the judge may have made a mistake in stating the criteria for suspending transactions.

In the 53-page order, Corey said it wasn’t enough for the FTC to argue that “a merger could make competition less competitive. The FTC would probably make a merger substantially less competitive.”

Legal scholars have questioned this standard, saying that U.S. antitrust law requires the FTC to prove that a proposed transaction “may” harm competition, not that it “harms.” said he wanted.

To address FTC concerns, Microsoft agrees to license ‘Call of Duty’ to rival companies, including 10-year deal with Japan’s Nintendo Co. (7974.T), contingent on completion of merger bottom.

When U.S. antitrust regulators lose merger challenges in court, they rarely appeal.

More than a decade ago, though, the FTC appealed the ruling that lost its battle to Whole Foods’ takeover of Wild Oats. The agency settled with both companies before the Court of Appeals ruled.

Reported by Diane Bartz.Editing: Diane Kraft, Lincoln Feast, Muralikumar Anantaraman

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Having covered the Bosnian War, elections in Mexico and Nicaragua, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, Nigeria and Peru, his focus is on US antitrust, corporate regulation and legislation.

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