A district judge allowed Microsoft to acquire Activision, denying the preliminary injunction request by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Judge Corley of the District Court for the Northern District of California said they were satisfied with Microsoft’s promise to keep Call of Duty available on other platforms, including Sony Xbox and Nintendo Switch.
The statement by the law official said the Court did not find FTC to show a likelihood it will prevail on its claim that the merger will lessen competition. Essentially, this means the Trade Commission is not allowed to stop the deal from taking place, although the decision can be appealed, provided documents are filed by the end of Friday.
Judge Corley took into consideration the 10-year parity deal Microsoft and Sony are about to sign for Call of Duty, as well as the similar agreement with Nintendo. The US company will also bring Activision’s titles to “several cloud gaming services”, which would not harm competition in the gaming industry.
The $68.7 billion deal ($95.00 per share) already received the go-ahead from the European Union. It still is in a legal battle with the CMA (Competitions and Market Authority) in the United Kingdom, but reports are both sides decided to pause the case to negotiate the cloud gaming concerns from the British regulator.
Brad Smith, Microsoft President, and Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard CEO, both praised the quick court decision. In separate press releases, they both said the deal is going to open competition in cloud gaming instead of stifling it. It should also benefit consumers and workers, as reports are no major layoffs are planned once the merger is complete.