Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger temporarily blocked by US judge

A judge has temporarily blocked Microsoft’s $68.7 billion deal with Activision Blizzard in response to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) request for a preliminary injunction. The court has ordered that the merger can’t take place until five days after the court has decided on whether or not to issue an injunction against it. The FTC had filed for the injunction in December 2022 over concerns that the deal “would enable Microsoft to suppress competitors to its Xbox gaming consoles and its rapidly growing subscription content and cloud-gaming business”. Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, however, seem to be unfazed by this lawsuit, as they believe that the injunction request is “accelerating the legal process” and helping the merger move forward sooner. Microsoft has already received approval from the European Union, provided that it releases popular Activision Blizzard games on competing cloud gaming services. The companies still need to convince the US and UK authorities to allow the merger to go ahead.

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