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FTC Appeals Over Microsoft's Victory in Activision Blizzard Case

The FTC isn't backing down, appealing against Microsoft's recent win in the Activision Blizzard acquisition case. Will this halt the gaming titan's plans?

FTC vs Microsoft.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) isn't letting Microsoft's victory slide in the battle over Activision Blizzard. Despite a federal court clearing the way for the tech giant's high-profile acquisition, the FTC is challenging this outcome by appealing the decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Previously this week, Microsoft came out on top in a taxing battle with the FTC. The Court found the regulator lacked convincing evidence to halt the merger on the grounds of potential competitive harm. This pivotal ruling, however, could be paused yet again if the FTC secures an emergency stay from the Ninth Circuit.

The FTC, not taking the defeat lightly, has leveled several arguments against the lower court ruling. It disputes the legal standard applied, argues potential consumer benefits do not outweigh potential foreclosure of games, and claims the ruling ignored evidence of Microsoft's potential foreclosure strategies.

But Microsoft remains unfazed, expressing disappointment at the FTC's persistence. "The facts haven't changed," reassured Lulu Cheng Meservey, Activision Blizzard’s CCO and EVP of corporate affairs. Meanwhile, Mike Ybarra, President of Blizzard Entertainment, has taken a more humorous approach, playfully poking fun at the situation on Twitter.

Microsoft's next hurdle? The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Talks are underway after the CMA initially blocked the deal over cloud concerns, warning Microsoft’s restructuring attempt could open up a new merger investigation. Not to mention, the EU's approval of the deal came with some concessions, including licensing agreements for competitors.

The saga continues, and now all eyes are on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Microsoft’s negotiations with the UK's CMA. Stay tuned!