Saturday, April 13, 2024

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New York – Microsoft’s efforts to acquire American video game company Activision Blizzard, stuck in a regulatory window, began to see a resolution with the release of a positive decision in California and the start of cooperation with the British Competition Authority.

The Silicon Valley giant cleared two major hurdles in its plan to buy Activision after a US judge approved the $69 billion deal, while British regulators hinted they may reconsider their opposition to the deal.

A federal judge in the state of California denied the U.S. Competition Commission’s request to immediately halt the acquisition, the first setback for the U.S. government in the case.

The ruling, dated Monday and released last Tuesday, relates to actions brought by the FTC on an expedited basis and not on a later basis in litigation. A hearing is scheduled to be held in this matter at the end of August.

Brad Smith: We will provide all justifications to address acquisition concerns

The US Competition Commission has urgently asked a federal court in San Francisco to temporarily halt Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision.

According to the complaint filed in mid-June, the court relied on press articles that “Microsoft and Activision are seriously considering completing the acquisition” despite the move and an injunction issued by British authorities.

The British Competition Commission also opposed the deal, saying it would harm competition in the cloud gaming industry.

However, Microsoft chairman Brad Smith announced on Tuesday that the group would submit proposals to Britain’s Competition Authority to “address its concerns” about the acquisition of Activision in an “acceptable” manner.

The authority confirmed to AFP its readiness to “consider any proposal from Microsoft to amend the contract”.

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In a quiet gesture, Microsoft decided to suspend its appeal in the British courts over the regulator’s main objection. The appeal was scheduled to be heard at the end of July.

Microsoft has proposed a “secondary” sale of shares to get the green light from the authority, CNBC reported.

Last May, the European Commission approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, which would make the American company the world’s third largest video games company.

According to estimates by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, the gaming market is expected to grow 36 percent to $321 billion over the next four years.

Although the California court’s decision was only a temporary decision to end the rush, its reasoning held the Federal Trade Commission in contempt and indicated a difficult legal path for the regulatory body.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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