The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is considering appealing a ruling in the lawsuit it filed to temporarily block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision. An anonymous source reported this to Bloomberg. The court denied the regulator’s request on Tuesday.
The FTC hasn’t made a final decision yet, but is “inclined to” appeal, Writes for Bloomberg news agency. An appeal can be filed as early as Wednesday. With Tuesday’s ruling, Microsoft may in principle complete the acquisition as early as Friday, July 15th, after putting the acquisition on hold pending a ruling. The FTC must file an emergency stay action with the Court of Appeals to extend those temporary pauses last Friday.
US Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ruled in favor of Microsoft on Tuesday in a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit. It said, among other things, that the FTC had not adequately demonstrated that a takeover could distort competition. According to the court, there is no reason to stop the acquisition for the time being.
The lawsuit filed by the FTC revolves around a request to file initial listing from FTC. The US regulator is currently running its own internal case against the takeover, hoping to block the takeover. The first hearings in this case are scheduled for August 2. In the meantime, Microsoft may close the acquisition early. Microsoft and Activision could then be forced to separate again later if the FTC concludes that it is necessary.
The FTC wanted to prevent Microsoft from completing the acquisition early while its own investigation was still ongoing. The required preliminary injunction would ban the tech giant from doing so. Therefore, the court did not impose this temporary ban. So, there’s a good chance that Microsoft and Activision will want to complete the acquisition quickly. Britain’s market regulator (CMA) previously blocked the takeover, but is negotiating concessions with the two companies following Tuesday’s ruling.
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