Microsoft is suddenly faced with a new hurdle in its planned takeover of the Activision Blizzard games group: the powerful US trade authority FTC filed a lawsuit against the deal yesterday and wants to obtain an injunction against it.
According to documents filed with a federal court in California, the agency wants the two companies to be barred from consummating the acquisition for the time being, despite the July 18 deadline slowly but surely approaching. The previous contracts for the preparation of the acquisition will run until this date.
Should this day pass without the takeover being formally completed, all previous agreements on the formalities of the process and the purchase price would actually lose their validity. However, there is of course the possibility that both sides will agree on an extension of the deadline. It’s quite likely that that will happen now – at least that’s what the fact that both parties are rather calm about the FTC’s latest move suggests.
Microsoft takes it sporty
Not only that, “We welcome the opportunity to present our case in federal court,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a statement. Assume that this will ultimately help speed up the entire approval process. At the same time, the deal is being reviewed by the internal arbitration board of the commercial authority. The FTC wants to use the order to gain more time for this process, and Microsoft is convinced that proceedings before an independent court will lead to decisions being reached more quickly.
The mega deal employs competition authorities in various regions. For Microsoft as a US company, the attitude of the FTC is the most important thing. But even in Europe, you have to deal with the authorities. The British CMA initially prohibited the takeover. Microsoft has not only appealed against this but is also doing extensive lobbying to get the decision-makers here on its side.
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