US FTC Motion to Appeal Microsoft Activision Merger Verdict Gets Denied

A second appeal is already being planned.

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The US Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) initial motion to appeal against the Microsoft Activision Blizzard verdict was quickly denied by the US District judge.

Judge Corley Quickly Rejected FTC’s Appeal

US District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley rejected the US FTC’s first appeal to overturn her verdict late last night. It was already predicted that the judge would easily reject the appeal that the FTC quickly filed after the recent court decision, but not this quickly.

US FTC Not Giving Up

Do you think the US FTC will be ready to give up after the failure of its appeal? Nope because it is already filing for another one, a push for a temporary pause on Microsoft’s acquisition deal. This time, the FTC is filing the appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Reuters reported.

FTC argues that its court cause was judged too harshly and the judge had placed too high a bar for the FTC to hurdle when it was simply seeking more time to examine the deal. It is also unhappy with how the judge “erred” on matters regarding the subscription access to Call of Duty, and the lack of importance placed on examining deals with cloud gaming rivals.

US Government Questioning FTC’s Credibility

There is political pressure after FTC’s loss in this case. FTC Chief Lina Khan was inquired by US politicians asking why it has recently been losing a lot when dealing with company mergers.

“You seem to be losing quite a bit, and I don’t say that to be disrespectful, but these are, after all, taxpayer funds,” Representative Kevin Kiley told Khan.

“The court not only rejected your assertion of a likely anti-competitive effect but found just the opposite,” Kiley said. “The record evidence points to more consumer access. So why should Americans have faith in your judgment when this Biden-appointed judge says you’re so far off the mark?”

Now, the only one blocking the merger is the UK CMA which has prompted to extend the deal-breaking decision to six more weeks.