Microsoft-Activision deal: U.S. court opens docket on FTC appeal

Washington –

A U.S. Court of Appeals on the West Coast started the record on Thursday in an effort to reverse the losses of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in its attempt to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Call of Duty maker Activision.

A federal judge in California ruled Tuesday in Microsoft’s favor after it failed to prove the transaction was illegal under antitrust laws. The FTC announced late Wednesday that it would appeal the loss, and Microsoft said it would contest the appeal.

The document was released before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, suggesting that the FTC’s appeal text will be filed soon. The court has not yet set a timetable for appeals.

If regulatory hurdles remain, 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.

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.

(Interviewed by Diane Bartz, David Shepherdson, Edited by Chizu Nomiyama)

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